The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has issued a warning to the Yes23 campaign after photos were posted online revealing the striking similarities between the campaign’s purple signs and the AEC’s official “Voting Centre” posters. A vigilant voter shared a photo on social media, highlighting the nearly identical hues of the signs, which was then confirmed by another observer using a color-picking tool. This raised concerns about potential misinformation and confusion among voters.
In response to the issue, the AEC released a statement clarifying that the signs were not created or endorsed by the AEC. The AEC emphasized the importance of avoiding any confusion among voters, especially considering the concerns that have been raised about its impartiality. It is worth noting that the AEC had previously taken legal action against the United Australia Party’s Clive Palmer for different election-related matters.
While the AEC has legal authority to prevent such incidents within six meters of polling center entrances, it urged the Yes23 campaign to relocate the signs in order to avoid any misleading impressions. The campaign complied with the request and moved the signs.
The issue arose as early voting commenced across several Australian states, including New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. The AEC took the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to maintaining transparent and unbiased elections. It emphasized that it will continue to ensure fair voting processes throughout the referendum.
The similarities in the signage design and color choice by the Yes23 campaign have sparked questions about their intentions. Some have wondered why the campaign intentionally used colors and branding similar to the AEC’s, especially for placement outside voting centers. These concerns were raised by early voters, but the AEC did not appear particularly interested in addressing them.
Despite these concerns, Australians will proceed to vote on the upcoming referendum on October 14. The referendum holds significant importance, and voters will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on matters that will impact the nation’s future. It is crucial that all campaigns and parties involved take the necessary steps to ensure transparency and avoid any potential confusion that may undermine the integrity of the voting process.