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Local election advertising requirements

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Electoral material includes any advertisement, notice, statement or representation calculated to affect the result of an election or poll. This extends to both print and digital material. 

 

Authorisation

All states and territories require that during an election period, content containing electoral must include:

  • the name of the person who authorised the electoral matter, or its author;
  • the address; and
  • if the matter is published for or on behalf of a registered political party, a candidate in an election or a person who has publicly indicated that he or she intends to be a candidate for election, the material must include a statement to the effect that the matter is published for the party, candidate or person.

‘Address’ is defined to mean an address, other than a post office box or an electronic address:

  1. at which the responsible person resides; or
  2. at or through which the responsible person may be readily contacted.

The identification requirement does not apply to a newspaper leading article or an article that is solely a report of a meeting.

Misleading material

It is an offence to print, publish or distribute material that misleads electors in the proper method of casting a vote (eg. directing that two candidates each be given a first preference vote). ‘Casting a vote’ extends only to marking a ballot paper, not to forming a political view about who to vote for.

It is also an offence to encourage an elector to vote using a tick or a cross. Any directions for voting printed on any material must be consistent with the requirements for a formal vote as printed on the ballot paper.

A person must not knowingly publish a false statement of fact about the personal character or conduct of a candidate, with the intent of affecting the election of that candidate. This offence may apply outside an election period.

State-specific requirements

Tasmania

Offence to use candidate’s name without permission

A person must not publish any electoral advertising that contains the name, photograph or a likeness of a candidate or intending candidate at an election without the written consent of the candidate or intending candidate.

Offence for advertisement to refer to gift, donation or prize

A person must not publish any electoral advertising that refers to the offering, promising or giving by a candidate or intending candidate of a gift, donation or prize to or for any specific club, association or body or to or for clubs, associations or bodies generally.

South Australia and Victoria

Social media pages and blogs

All Social Media profiles, pages or groups used to campaign must be authorised in the ‘about’ page.

Any posts, photos or videos published or shared on Social Media must also contain an authorisation statement within the post, photo or video.

If a link to electoral material you have authored is shared, this material as well as the post must each contain an authorisation statement.

Comments and replies including those on a post authored by a third party must also be authorised.

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