Sydney, Mar. 27 (ANI): The South Australian Electoral Commission has ordered an investigation into an allegation that a family fraudulently voted 159 times in last Saturday's state election.
Earlier, an anonymous letter obtained by The Advertiser had claimed that the family stole the identities of other voters who couldn't vote on polling day, and added that an underage member of the fraudulent family was permitted to vote 31 times.
News.com.au quoted Electoral Commissioner Kay Mousley, as saying that the claims in the letter are feasible.
Mousley added that she was taking the scam "very seriously," and had forwarded the matter to the State Government for investigation.
"Penalties of up to 2500 dollars and six months in jail exist for people who vote multiple times, but there are no checks on polling day to stop individuals rorting the system under assumed identities," she said.
While the letter does not reveal where or who the votes were cast for, it claims that the stunt was inspired by a need for electoral reform.
"Our activities may or may not have influenced the outcome of the election. We did this simply by using careful research and planning. The research provided names of those who could not vote, would not be voting, or needed assistance to vote," it said.
"The planning involved mapping out a circuit of polling stations in such a way as to cover the maximum amount of ground in the time available. We memorised the names and addresses to use," it added.
The letter warns that the fraud will be repeated on a larger scale at the next election unless reforms, including abolition of compulsory voting, are introduced.
"There are individuals who are incapable of voting but they remain on the electoral roll. There are individuals who are absent. There are individuals who need assistance and are all too easily conned into giving up their right to vote," the letter said.
"You may wish to consider this a hoax. It is not," it added. (ANI)