MUNICIPAL Association of Victoria chief executive Rob Spence doubts if the Jacob Anson letter will lead to Warrnambool City Council election results being scuttled.
“I’ve never seen an election being set aside because of similar concerns,” he said.
“Case law is very limited on the offence of trying to mislead or deceive voters.
“It’s at the upper end of the local government offences.
“Generally it relates to unauthorised or false how-to-vote cards being handed out.
“Setting aside an election is a very serious matter.”
Mr Spence said a challenge on results had to be lodged within 14 days of the poll by a candidate or voters.
On the issue of comment in the media he said the MAV wanted transparency.
“We don’t like anonymity,” he said.
“If someone is prepared to have a go at someone else they should be prepared to submit their real name.”
Meanwhile, Mr Spence this week asked Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell to review the local government voting process after allegations of vote-rigging in Melbourne City Council elections and unauthorised use of a candidate’s letterhead.
“The fact that we only have elections every four years means we’re shocked a bit more by that sort of fringe behaviour, but it still has to be dealt with,” he said.
Mr Spence said many voters were overwhelmed with choice and often knew little about their candidates.The MAV is also concerned voters can’t find out who’s been funding candidates’ campaigns until 40 days after the election.