Save Our Councils Coalition issue warning over 'misleading' and 'deceitful' signage ahead of Cootamundra, Murray by-elections

'DECEIT': The signs, found during North Shore's by-election, were marked with footnotes that did not clearly bear any party name but were later identified as Liberal Party material. Picture: Contributed
'DECEIT': The signs, found during North Shore's by-election, were marked with footnotes that did not clearly bear any party name but were later identified as Liberal Party material. Picture: Contributed

The Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC) has cautioned voters across the Cootamundra and Murray electorates not to fall for ‘deceitful’ posters at the polling booths on Saturday.

It comes after SOCC President Brian Halstead accused the Liberal Party in April of misleading voters during the North Shore by-election with signs mimicking electoral commision posters.

Mr Halstead alleged the signs, reading “You Can Just Vote [1] On The Ballot Paper”, did not have adequate evidence of Liberal authorisation and were designed to favour the major party.

“The elderly, sight affected or even those with minimal eyesight problems could not read the authorisation on the former Liberal Sydney North Shore by election signs at polling booths in April 2017,” Mr Halstead said in a statement.

The signs were marked with footnotes that did not bear any party name, simply the authorisation of Liberal Party state director Chris Stone.

SOCC spokesperson Phil Jenkyn conceded that while the posters were legal, their stark contrast to regulation National Party campaign material was confusing voters and deliberating skewing the preferential voting system.

“Having posters that encourage voters to only list one party is a perfectly legal practice that many major parties have done in previous elections,” he said.

“The problem here is that it’s not clear whether the poster is coming from a party or an electoral commission.”

The Herald is awaiting a response from the National Party as to whether these posters will appear at the Cootamundra and Murray polling booths.