30/09/2021 - 12:30

Council election rocked by 'electoral fraud'

30/09/2021 - 12:30

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The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s council election has been rocked by allegations of electoral fraud, with two people in possession of about 50 ballot papers taken into custody.

Members of the public detained two people suspected of stealing mail from local letterboxes. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s council election has been rocked by allegations of electoral fraud, with WA Police confirming two people in possession of up to 50 ballot papers had been taken into custody.

Business News understands WA Police were called to Byford in Perth’s south-east on Wednesday afternoon after members of the public detained two people suspected of stealing mail from local letterboxes.

A 39-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man were taken into custody, with police seizing two bags containing up to 50 local government ballot papers. 

The investigation is ongoing, but it is not yet clear whether the pair were affiliated with a candidate standing for election.

A spokesperson from the WA Electoral Commission told Business News it had been notified of the investigation but that, as an offence under both federal and state law, the matter was being handled by WA Police.

The spokesperson said the commission had no specific details concerning the individuals or any possible charges and that its priority was identifying those affected electors and arranging replacement voting packages before October 16.

Thirteen candidates are standing for election across the outer south-eastern metropolitan council's three wards, with current councillors Rob Coales, Bill Denholm and Morgan Byas seeking reelection.

The shire's elections are administered by the commission and conducted via post.

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