Monday, January 21 2013
• According to the Representation of the People Act public address systems, loudspeakers, buntings, ensign, banners, standards or set of colours of any flag (representing any party) shall not be furnished to any person to be used on polling day within an electoral district, and these items should not be used on any motor or other vehicle as propaganda on polling day. No person shall carry or use within an electoral district public address apparatus, loudspeakers etc. Persons breaching the law are liable on summary conviction to a fine of $7,500 or six months imprisonment.
• During the hours when the poll is open (6 am-6 pm) persons shall not congregate in a polling station or within 100 metres thereof. This does not apply to electors waiting to vote or persons lawfully entering a polling station. The penalty is the same as above.
• It is an offence for any person to “seek to influence any elector to vote or to refrain from voting any candidate or political party or to ascertain for whom any elector intends to vote or has voted”. Persons convicted of this offence are liable on summary conviction of a fine of $7,500 or imprisonment for three months.
• Section 36 (2) makes provision for workers to have time off to vote and states that no employer shall make any deductions in pay or any other remuneration of the elector or impose any penalty for the workers’ absence during the time allowed to vote. According to Section 93 an employer who fails to comply with the provisions “and any person who directly or indirectly by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way interfered with the granting of an elector of the prescribed period for voting” is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $30,000 or imprisonment for 12 months.
• A person is guilty of an offence who votes knowing they are not entitled to vote or votes more than once in the same electoral district or in more than one district.
• An elector is guilty of bribery who before or during an election directly or indirectly by himself or any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees to receive or contracts for any money, gift, loan or valuable consideration, office, place or employment for himself or for any other person for voting or agreeing to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting.
• It is an offence to exert “undue influence” directly or indirectly through the use of threats of force, violence or restraint, or threat to inflict directly or through another person physical or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person to vote or refrain from voting in any election. Abduction, duress or any “fraudulent device or contrivance” used to impede or prevent the free exercise of the franchise or to compel, induce an elector to vote or not vote is an offence.