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Guide to Councils

Election offences and complaints

Election offences

Candidates should be aware of the following electoral offences, which can carry serious penalties. Consult the Local Government Act 1989 and Candidate Handbooks for further and complete details of offences.

Unlawful nomination

A person who is not qualified to be a candidate or is not capable of becoming a councillor must not submit a nomination.

False declaration

A person making a written declaration as a candidate, scrutineer or voter or as a person submitting a how-to-vote card must not knowingly make a declaration that is false.

Misleading or deceptive material

A person must not print, publish or distribute any electoral material that is likely to mislead or deceive voters in casting their vote.

Authorisation of electoral material

A person must not print, publish or distribute an electoral advertisement handbill, pamphlet or notice unless the name and address of the person who authorised the material appears at its end. (The address cannot be a post office box.)

Bribery

A person must not offer or invite any kind of bribe or inducement that may affect an election.

Election complaints

Any complaints should firstly be directed to the Returning Officer. If the complaint relates to the administration of the election, the Returning Officer or the Victorian Electoral Commission will handle the matter.

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