Electoral Commission calls in police over Facebook post

Potential $40,000 fine.

The Electoral Commission says it has "referred four incidents to police for further investigation involving individuals who posted on social media that they have voted or intended to vote more than once using other electors’ voting papers in the second flag referendum."

The agency is refusing further comment, but an RNZ report appears to account for one of the alleged offenses.

It says the commission has been investigating an Auckland man who claimed on Facebook to have collected 300 voting papers from neighbors and friends that he believed "couldn't care less", then ticked the new flag on all of them. 

It's not immediately clear if the man did indeed hijack the papers, or was indulging in a social media wind-up.

In a statement, the commission notes it's an offence for a person to complete any voting paper knowing that he or she is not the person intended to receive the voting paper and to return such voting papers under section 59 of the New Zealand Flag Referendums Act (2015).

A person convicted of an offence under section 59 of the Act is guilty of a corrupt practice which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of two years and/or a fine up to $40,000.

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