On the length of a piece of string – or the dobbing in of cheating cheats

johnboy 18 October 2008 103

[First filed: October 16, 2008 @ 13:34]

A growing number of readers are getting in touch reporting that operatives of political parties are handing out election material inside the 100m exclusion zone around polling places.

Questioning these operatives about their practice is in most cases met with abuse or lies.

Elections ACT was moved yesterday to issue a media release announcing that Polling Area Managers now have a 100m piece of string with which to police the boundary.

Reports from the field suggest they’re still struggling with this one.

So please. If you see an operative too close to a polling place take a photo of them and send it in to images@the-riotact.com

UPDATED: As 100 metres seems to be a concept beyond many party workers we’ve decided to help them out. My flatmate and I have just been down to the Dickson oval 100 metre running track and here’s what the distance looks like (also proving that it takes a RiotACT Overlord about a minute and half to walk 100m backwards):

Another Update: Jon Reynolds has sent in a photo of the electoral commissioner with an officially measured piece of string. Enjoy:

Further Update: That white building, at most 50 metres behind Zed is the Baker Gardens polling place in Ainslie. He’s not alone, the Greens’ Shane Rattenbury and fellow Liberal Belinda Barnier are in the same cluster.

Got more? Send them in to images@the-riotact.com


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103 Responses to On the length of a piece of string – or the dobbing in of cheating cheats
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Granny Granny 7:08 pm 19 Oct 08

So it doesn’t sound like anything dire and terrible has happened to you yet, jakez. No horse’s heads in your bed or concrete boots in Burley Griffin ….

A bit of an anticlimax really!

*chuckle*

jakez jakez 12:11 am 19 Oct 08

Gerry-Built said :

I kinda miss the “I wouldn’t vote for your f-ing party!” rebuffs… If they can’t take it, they shouldn’t be there! ;-P

I’ll have to remember that chain of logic the next time I want to be a complete wanker.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 9:15 pm 18 Oct 08

Oh, and at MacGregor Primary – things looked OK on the 100m rule (though testing it with the string would have proven interesting as there was a collection of pushers on the nearest front lawn (I know Johnboy, no camera… sorry…). No “pamphlet pushers” in sight… I kinda miss the “I wouldn’t vote for your f-ing party!” rebuffs… If they can’t take it, they shouldn’t be there! ;-P

Apparently their book sale and sausage sizzle was a success – good onya volunteer sausage sizzlers across Canberra!

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 9:09 pm 18 Oct 08

So ABC News is predicting a hung government based on 34% of the count, with a HUGE swing against Labor… and a swing against the Libs too… What does that say about the majors?

Go read the article, and laugh at Katy’s comments…

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 6:52 pm 18 Oct 08

Clown Killer said :

I honestly think that the t-shirt thing is serious over-kill. In all reality, someone wearing a “Standope 08″ or Zed’s Dead Bab … Zed’s Dead” is simply making a public declaration of where their political interests lie. It’s no different to the bods that wear Brumbies jerseys.

Good point clown killer, right up to the point where they whack an A4 size photo of Zed or Sonic on their shirts and stand outside the booth shaking everybodies hands. “Hey” they say when questioned by the Polling Booth Nazi’s, “you can’t send me away, I got this shirt for Xmas, Zed’s my cousin don’t you know…”. In short, there’s a million ways around this policy.

I even heard several people debating whether the aircraft trailing a “Vote 1 for Doszpot” sign in the airspace over a booth in Tuggeranong was in breach of the restrictions policy! As minimum height restrictions for private and commercial planes overflying a built up area is 500feet, I assured them this was OK (while also walking away shaking my head at the stupidity and banality of their conversation).

Clown Killer Clown Killer 6:07 pm 18 Oct 08

I honestly think that the t-shirt thing is serious over-kill. In all reality, someone wearing a “Standope 08″ or Zed’s Dead Bab … Zed’s Dead” is simply making a public declaration of where their political interests lie. It’s no different to the bods that wear Brumbies jerseys.

Granny Granny 5:32 pm 18 Oct 08

I would love to see them removing the t-shirts!

*chuckle*

Not too bad if you’re a bloke, but a tad traumatic for the ladies one would imagine ….

; )

Kerces Kerces 5:14 pm 18 Oct 08

Skid, from the Electoral Commission’s candidate handbook:
Prohibition of canvassing near polling places (s303)
A person shall not, within a polling place, or within 100 metres of the building or
enclosure containing a polling place:
(a) do anything for the purpose of influencing the vote of an elector as the elector is
approaching, or while the elector is at, the polling place;
(b) do anything for the purpose of inducing an elector not to vote as the elector is
approaching, or while the elector is at, the polling place; or
(c) exhibit an electoral notice other than a notice authorised by the Commissioner for
display there.
Penalty: 5 penalty units.

An officer may, if directed by the Commissioner, remove or obliterate a notice which is
exhibited in breach of this offence. A person shall not obstruct an officer exercising or
attempting to exercise this function.
Penalty: 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.

Badges and emblems (s304)
An officer or scrutineer shall not wear or display in a place where voting is taking place a
badge or emblem associated with a candidate or political party.
Penalty: 10 penalty units.

I would have thought wearing slogan t-shirts within 100m of the polling place would come under “influencing the vote of an elector”, but I’m no electoral law expert. I believe at the federal election last year lots of people were made to remove or cover their Kevin07 t-shirts before they entered polling places.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 4:11 pm 18 Oct 08

Question:
If I were at say, Arawang Primary School, and at roughly 100m away, Mike Hettinger’s “No, we’re not former Green now-Labor supporters, we’re Green-minded Labor supporters, just wearing Green to confuse you” crew are happily chatting to eachother and handing out flyers.

ZedInsteadlies have put down their HTV flyers and asked the Hettigreens to keep an eye on them.
ZI’s walk off to start talking politics with people -going into- the school about 10m away from the door, and at the sausage sizzle, while still wearing their Zed t-shirts.
They are technically not ‘handing out’ material, just still trying to influence voters and display supporting signage on their chest.

Poor form, not within the law or just a cheap tactic?

And why were Zed-Insteadlies just sitting in chairs on the front kerb outside the school, still asking if people wanted HTV’s?
(Sorry, no photo, phone stayed at home)

But here is the location on Google Maps of where the chair people were, on the school side.

The Hettigreens were in the shade under the trees across from 70 Nemarang Cres

(Times like this would be really handy if there was a polling-place Google Maplication for the 100m no-go zone)

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 3:37 pm 18 Oct 08

D-Man said :

Funny – I just went to vote at St Thomas’ at Kambah. Zed was there right outside the booth – maybe 10 metres away. The electoral official politely asked him to move off twice, Zed completely ignored him. Then the head honcho stormed over, had a screaming match and told Zed to ‘f*** off!’….Zed scuttled away with his tail between his legs. I cacked myself.

D-man I was there too, cooking the fundraising BBQ. It was funny as.

ant ant 3:27 pm 18 Oct 08

I was still using my old Nokia 5110 (the popular little brick) until quite recently, too. Got it a new battery but it faded very fast. Realised that phones without cameras were dirt cheap on the net and got a tiny little nokia.

I do hope the Green hoists that footage!

Danman Danman 1:30 pm 18 Oct 08

Well that was easy – no line up and no spruikers* @ Ngunnawal

Pretty much WIWO

*There was at entry to far car park but I drove straight past with a smile wink and nod [She was cute] 🙂

D-Man D-Man 12:59 pm 18 Oct 08

I’m still using the same nokia brick i bought in 1999. Doesn’t have fancy features like a camera or battery life. I think one of the Greens may have captured it though. Greenie – if you’re reading this, put up the footage!

ant ant 12:48 pm 18 Oct 08

D-Man, why on earth didn’t you record it on your phone?! Can you imagine the popularity of such a video? And the news would have paid money for it, too. Maybe someone else filmed it?

Kudos to the head honcho although he’ll probably cop an official complaint now.

D-Man D-Man 12:35 pm 18 Oct 08

Funny – I just went to vote at St Thomas’ at Kambah. Zed was there right outside the booth – maybe 10 metres away. The electoral official politely asked him to move off twice, Zed completely ignored him. Then the head honcho stormed over, had a screaming match and told Zed to ‘f*** off!’….Zed scuttled away with his tail between his legs. I cacked myself.

johnboy johnboy 12:06 pm 18 Oct 08

I also can’t help noticing vehicles emblazoned with Zed Instead driving past the front doors of polling places.

D-Man D-Man 11:38 am 18 Oct 08

God, I do my best to avoid reading Overhead’s posts but sometimes I do by mistake. How can one squeeze so much wankiness into a single post?

aronde aronde 10:45 am 18 Oct 08

At my local primary school they were stationed at the car park entrance and they waved their pamphlets furiously at everyone who drove in. Naturally every car I saw just kept driving! And by walking across the school grounds a lot of people managed to miss them all together however one keen pamphlet handler ‘chased’ a few people taking her within the 100 metres. She must have been in training as one of her colleagues yelled at her to come back!

Primal Primal 10:08 am 18 Oct 08

The positioning of Arawang Primary made it possible to avoid all the HTV thrusters just by walking down a hill instead of following the footpath. Now that’s what I call civic planning.

Gobbo Gobbo 9:44 am 18 Oct 08

As at 9.30 am this morning, all political parties were observing the 100m exclusion zone at the Aranda Primary School polling station.

It was very pleasant to just stroll in without having to run the gauntlet of How To Vote cards being thrust at you and invading your personal space.

That being said, I know a number of people holding on to How to Vote cards around Canberra. Sorry guys. A bit of a let down for you all I’m sure.

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