From Machine Counting to ‘Dead’ Votes — We Bust the Election Myths Circulating Right Now

federal election australia

Ah, tis the season of standing in long queues, getting stressed out, and being bombarded with ads about an old, white, all-powerful man. Nope, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about the upcoming federal election. And just as some parents lie to their children about the existence of Santa (sorry if you’re hearing this news here first), many folks are trying to spread a whack of misinformation about the voting process. 

But how can you dissect what’s the truth from the malarkey? How can you know whether or not someone’s trying to take you on a bad election-based ride? Well, don’t panic because I’m about to debunk three of the biggest federal election myths. 

Myth One: Voting Machines Will Steal This Election

There are a variety of anti-lockdown and conspiracy theory groups pushing the narrative that Australia’s ballot-counting process cannot be trusted, according to the ABC. For instance, some social media accounts have been implying that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) will be using Dominion voting machines that’ll switch who a person’s voting for or delete some votes entirely.

But this would be impossible, as the AEC doesn’t use any voting machines at all. In fact, a spokesperson for the Australian federal election even told APP FactCheck that Australia would need to make a “comprehensive change to electoral laws” in order to use such technology. 

Myth Two: Postal Votes of Dead Australians Are Being Counted

Some individuals are spreading the idea that dead people’s votes are being counted. And no, they aren’t implying that zombies are real and they’re using the democratic process to undermine the living. They believe that deceased Australians’ postal vote applications are being submitted in order to influence the 2022 election results. 

But the AEC debunk this claim with style and vigour on their website. They state, “There is no evidence of postal vote applications being received under the names of deceased Australians. In addition, the AEC receives regular updates from Births, Deaths and Marriages and applies regular roll objections for deceased Australians… Any postal vote received that is unable to be matched is rejected.”

Myth Three: Your Vote Doesn’t Matter

As you’re standing at your cardboard voting booth on May 21, you might have the urge to donkey vote. You might be filled with a swell of complete despair. You might start telling yourself that your vote doesn’t matter, nothing ever changes, and you should gobble your ballot down like a big bag of popcorn

Now, it’s understandable that you’d feel that way, but you’d be telling yourself a complete myth. As another article on The Latch put it, a single vote has changed the course of other places and there’s been a number of Aussie electoral races that have been incredibly tight. Furthermore, if you live in a swing seat, then your electorate could go to either party. This means the future of Australia is literally in your hands.

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