DODGY: Fake and racist booth signs taint election
Labor and Greens volunteers have lashed the Liberal Party after signs using the Australian Electoral Commision colours and written in Mandarin were spotted at polling booths.
The signs, which have been seen across a number of electorates in Melbourne, tell voters the "correct way" to vote is by putting a number 1 next to the Liberal candidate.
The sign then directs voters to number the rest of the boxes to ensure the vote is counted.
MASSIVE RORT: in Chisholm Liberals have made posters in Chinese to look like AEC information that translates to "the correct way to vote is to put a number 1 next to the Liberals and number every other box.” It’s at every booth. When will the @AusElectoralCom pull them down? pic.twitter.com/nDbQJJXWDe— Luke Hilakari (@lhilakari) May 17, 2019
A photo of the sign was shared by Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Luke Hilakari and shows the Mandarin sign sitting next to an AEC banner.
The electorate Mr Hilakari saw the signs in was Chisholm, a marginal Melbourne seat.
Mr Hilakari later took to Twitter to claim they tried to pull down the signs but the Liberal campaigner said they would call the police.
The Greens confirmed they also spotted the signs in Kooyong, held by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
These have also been sighted at over 15 booths in Kooyong. AEC Legal Team investigating now.— Victorian Greens (@VictorianGreens) May 18, 2019
The signs have caused widespread anger on social media, with ABC's Virginia Trioli saying the tactic was "pretty extraordinary" and called on the AEC to take action.
The AEC has since responded.
"Under electoral legislation election material has to comply with the following: it has to be authorised and cannot be within six metres of the entrance to the polling place," the AEC said.
When pushed and asked if the signs were "misrepresentation", the AEC responded again.
While the AEC uses purple in our signs - the AEC can’t prohibit others doing so. The electoral offence s329 concerns misleading conduct which might effect the casting of a vote rather than the judgment of how the vote will be cast.— AEC (@AusElectoralCom) May 18, 2019
The Labor Party has lodged an official complaint with the AEC, a spokesperson confirmed.
"This is a new low - a pathetic and dirty attempt to deceive voters because the Liberals have no policy to talk about," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Labor's candidate for Deakin Shireen Morris has been targeted by vandals, with some of her signs being defaced to make it look like she's wearing Islamic headdress.
Ms Morris took to Twitter to lash the vandalism, calling it "disgraceful".
Liberal MP Michael Sukkar holds Deakin, in Melbourne's east, by a 6.44 per cent margin.
But Mr Sukkar is in for a fight after he was targeted by union ads for backing Peter Dutton and also had to face being dumped from the front bench after Scott Morrison became prime minister.
Ms Morris received overwhelming support after sharing the pictures on social media.
ABC's Patricia Karvelas called the graffiti "repulsive" while former NSW Premier turned senator Kristina Keneally called it "disgusting".