AEC investigating unauthorised election signs targeting independent candidates

A number of unauthorised and misleading election posters have been spotted in three NSW electorates, portraying independent politicians as Greens candidates.
The signs appeared overnight in the Sydney seat of Warringah, showing independent MP Zali Steggall as a Greens candidate.

The corflutes have a prominent Greens logo and read “independent and the Greens for Warringah”, even though Steggall is running as an independent.

A misleading election sign portraying Zali Steggall as a Greens candidate. Steggall is running as an independent, not the Greens. (Nine)

She said the signs have been reported, while the Australian Electoral Commission has said it is taking the issue “extremely seriously”.

“The signage… appears to be unauthorised, in breach of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918,” the AEC told 9News.com.au.

“We are endeavouring to find information regarding who is behind the signage.”

When politicians facing the public gets ugly

Similar posters targeting independents Sophie Scamps and Georgia Steel in the seats of McKellar and Hughes and McKellar respectively also appeared.

All electoral communications, including posters and ads, are required to carry an authorisation so voters are aware of who is behind the messaging.

However, the posters in question would likely be legal if they carried an authorisation, even though they misleadingly portray the independent candidates as being affiliated with the Greens.

Both Steggal and Scamps have said the corflutes reinforce the need for truth in political advertising laws in Australia.

The AEC has appealed for anyone with information which could help them identify those responsible for the signage to come forward.

It’s not the first time independent candidates have been portrayed as being aligned with the Greens.

The ad, authorised by Advance Australia, portrays David Pocock as being a Greens candidate. He is running as an Independent. (Twitter)

David Pocock, the former rugby union star running for an ACT senate seat, filed a complaint with the AEC after posters showing him opening his shirt to reveal a Greens shirt underneath appeared around Canberra.

Right-wing lobby group Advance Australia was behind those signs, which carried the appropriate authorisation.

Independent Monique Ryan, who is challenging treasurer Josh Frydenberg for the seat of Kooyong, has also been impacted by a similar ploy, after unauthorised stickers which said a vote for her was a vote for Labor, were stuck on her corflutes.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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