Stoush over postal vote letterbox grab
A stoush has erupted over application forms for postal votes in one of the state's most marginal seats after a Labor Party campaign director offered to collect the forms from voters' letterboxes.
Sheena Hewlett, the campaign director for Redlands MP Kim Richards, made the online offer to collect application forms after the LNP sent out prepaid envelopes on Monday.
The forms ask voters for their address, contact details and for a signature.
"Many of you have received postal vote applications today in the mail," she said.
"If so, don't worry about returning them in the envelopes provided as we can scan and upload them much quicker ensuring a better turnaround.
"So if you fill them out and let me know, I will collect them as soon as you have filled them out.
"Just PM me your address and leave them in your letterbox and I will collect them. It's much quicker and safer than trusting the mail."
Mrs Hewlett, the wife of Redland City councillor Lance Hewlett, made the offer after many people did not receive requested postal ballots on time for the local government election in March.
She said the ALP had the facility to scan and upload forms which would then be sent to the Electoral Commission of Queensland.
The electoral commission posts out ballot forms to voters two weeks before the election, after nominations have closed.
Both major political parties send out the preliminary application forms in the hope voters return them with their details, which are then harvested and used to send out party voting information.
LNP candidate Henry Pike sent out his forms on Monday before the ALP's Kim Richards, who holds the seat with a slim 3.1 per cent margin.
Postal application forms returned to the LNP headquarters at Archerfield are scanned and the data harvested before they are "batched up" and sent electronically to the ECQ.
Federal LNP Member Andrew Laming, who has been criticised for meddling in both local and state politics, said the LNP was concerned about Mrs Hewlett's online offer.
"We suspect Sheena Hewlett is trying to intercept our LNP forms with the view to accessing personal details so she can then send out Labor Party material to those people," he said.
"She could have sent the online link to people instead of asking them to leave the completed forms in the letterbox for her to pick up."
Electoral Commission of Queensland urged voters who wanted postal ballots sent to them to order them online via the ECQ website or ring the ECQ call centre.
"This is a political practice that parties undertake at every election," ECQ said.
"Electors are under no obligation to use those self-addressed envelopes sent out by the political parties."
Originally published as Stoush over ALP letterbox grab