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Misinformation list to protect Voice referendum process

A mining tsar, environmental advocate and lobby group rank among Australia's major political donors with calls to improve funding integrity and transparency.

A mining tsar, environmental advocate and lobby group rank among Australia's major political donors with calls to improve funding integrity and transparency. Photo: AAP

Australians who spread misinformation about the voice referendum will be found out by the Australian Electoral Commission.

“If you spread incorrect information about the process we run – deliberately or otherwise – we will correct you,” electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said.

The AEC launched the Referendum Disinformation Register on Thursday in recognition of increasing public commentary about the Indigenous voice to parliament.

The register will tackle harmful misinformation about the process of conducting a referendum – not political views surrounding the voice.

“We can’t and won’t play a role with campaign information beyond ensuring it is authorised, so people know the source,” Mr Rogers said.

“The message here is simple – the AEC will not tolerate the spread of mistruths about our referendum processes, no matter the source.”

Slated to take place sometime between October and December, the referendum will be the first in almost a quarter of a century.

There are about 6.4 million people on the current electoral roll who were not of voting age at the 1999 Australian republic referendum.

The AEC disinformation register was created during last year’s federal election as a tool to combat deceptive information on how elections are run.

Misinformation about the voice referendum has begun to spread.

Examples range from the AEC being accused of rigging the referendum or campaigning for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote to claims the constitution has been invalid since 1973.

Australians can access the register on the AEC website.

– AAP

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