Australia’s same-sex marriage survey has been sent to dead people

Same-sex marriage postal form

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has come under fire again for another postal vote fail during their management of the same-sex marriage survey.

A number of residents in Canberra have received surveys through their letterbox that are not addressed to them, but to the property’s former homeowners who have since died.

“Got our postal survey, including one for the former of the house .. .who died eight years ago,” said Canberra resident Catherine Bleasley on Facebook.

Another resident, Hannah Zurcher, received multiple forms to her home, as well as one addressed to a former tenant.

“If we’re going to claim that this is the best way to assess the feelings of the nation, we need to make sure we’re actually accurate and representative,” said Zurcher to The Canberra Times.

The ineptness of the service has even seen voters sell their forms online to the highest bidder.


same-sex marriage ballot

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

One person reportedly offered their postal vote form for a starting bid of $1500 on eBay, with twenty more cases of form selling reported to the Australian Federal Police.

On top of that, the forms have also been mocked for several barcodes on the bottom of the sheets reading ‘BUMSEX’. Oops.

On a more concerning level, those who have received multiple forms fear that the vote can be manipulated by those who will intend to fill out the survey more than once.

“If you receive a survey form not addressed to you, do the right thing and just return it to sender. It’s illegal to open others’ mail, unless you have their express permission as a trusted person,” advised deputy statistician Jonathan Palmer.

Results from the vote will be published on November 15.