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The circulation of election conspiracy theories in Australia has increased with the country set to have its federal election later this year, Australia’s electoral commissioner said on Tuesday night.
Appearing before Senate estimates, AEC commissioner Tom Rogers said the uptick in election conspiracy theories mirrored what has been occurring in overseas jurisdictions.
Among the conspiracies posted online has been that postal voting is not secure, Rogers said. The AEC commissioner also warned of other election conspiracies, specifically debunking misinformation that unvaccinated people will not be allowed to vote in person.
“One [conspiracy] doesn’t seem to go away is that somehow we’re mandating that voters be vaccinated, and that this will deny people the vote,” he said, confirming that people will be allowed to vote in person regardless of their vaccination status.
To address the rise in conspiracy theories, Rogers said his agency has been working more closely with social media platforms to quickly remove election misinformation and disinformation.
For one instance of the postal voting conspiracy content arising online, the commissioner said his agency pointed out to Twitter that the content breached the platform’s terms of service, which culminated in that information being removed within three hours.