Australia Gay-Marriage Postal Survey Forms Sent to Dead People

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Since Australia launched its postal survey on marriage equality earlier this month, residents of the capital have complained about receiving ballots addressed to people who died, Australian daily newspaper The Age reports.

There have also been cases of residents receiving multiply addressed erroneous forms to residents who have since moved away.

Some citizens of Canberra, Australia, worry the duplicate survey forms may skew the election results in an unfair direction that is non-representative of the nation’s attitude toward same-sex marriage.

“’If we’re going to claim that this is the best way to assess the feelings of the nation, we need to make sure we’re actually accurate and representative,” Canberra resident Hanna Zurcher told The Age. Zurcher intercepted ballots addressed to a deceased tenant.

A spokesman for the Australian Electoral Commission, the body responsible for determining voter eligibility in the country, said that “the roll receives updates from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to update the list of voters to remove those who have died.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, however, issued a warning in response to the influx of the inaccurately issued forms:

“If you receive a survey form not addressed to you, do the right thing and just return it to sender. It's illegal to open others’ mail, unless you have their express permission as a trusted person.”


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