Letter sent by email, 11 February 2016
I have a question about the candidate application process;
Does the Electoral Commission verify candidate eligibility (Const. section 44) before candidates are registered?
More specifically, does the AEC verify the loyalty requirement under section 44(i) of the Constitution and if not, why not?
Response received by email, 11 February 2016
Good morning Joey
Intending candidates are required to legally declare on the nomination form that they are eligible to nominate and are therefore not disqualified by s.44 of the constitution.
The AEC doesn’t run checks to ensure candidates are eligible; however, a challenge to a nominee’s legal declaration can be made in the court of disputed returns within 40 days of that election.
It is important to note that the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 outlines the timetable for a federal election, in which there is only 24 hours in between the close of nominations and the declaration of nominations. The early voting follows soon after by which time ballot papers with candidates’ names must have been produced.
Evan Ekin-Smyth | A/g Assistant Director
Media & External Communication Section
Australian Electoral Commission