Fourteen out of twenty members fail to confirm membership. Registration fails.
Mr Graham Askey, Proposed Registered Officer, Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party, 51 Cullen Street, NIMBIN NSW 2480
Re: Application to register a political party Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
Dear Mr Askey
On 10 April 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application to register Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).
Your party’s application for registration was advertised on the 20 July 2007 with a closing date of 20 August 2007 for objections, if any, to be submitted.
The AEC has undertaken a series of tests to ascertain whether your party meets the requirements for registration. As a result of these tests, the AEC was unable to determine whether your party has at least 500 members (i.e. your party has failed a branch of the ‘membership test’). If this is not rectified, your application may be refused following the close of objections period.
Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires a non Parliamentary party to have at least 500 members (who are entitled to enrolment) to be eligible for registration. A party’s eligibility is assessed in two ways. The secretary supplies a statutory declaration annexing the membership forms provided, declaring that the forms are signed by the people identified on them and that they have been accepted by the party as members.
The AEC conducts a membership test on a random sample of 20. members of the Party. The purpose of this test is to check for incorrect memberships on the basis that if a party relies on memberships of people who do not consider themselves members, then it is unlikely to have the required membership to be eligible for registration. The criterion for a successful random membership check is. to achieve 19 confirmations of party membership from the 20 people chosen at random.
The AEC completed a random sample check of the party’s membership list on 8 August 2007. Six people confirmed their membership of the party, one person denied that she was a member while another thirteen did not respond to telephone calls, as well as ignoring a letter subsequently sent to them giving them 14 days to respond.
To pass a membership test, you need to provide the AEC with a list of at least 500 members who are prepared to confirm their membership of the party.
In order for your party to have the best chance of being registered in a time for the forth coming Federal election, you should rectify this failing as soon as possible after close of objections to your party’s registration on 20 August 2007.
Please advise the AEC whether you:
•wish the application to go ahead having failed the membership test and be rejected; or
•submit a fresh list of members.
A copy of the relevant parts of section 4 and of sections 123, 126 and 131 of the Electoral Act are enclosed.
Should you have any queries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Shawn O’Brien on (02) 6271 4667. Alternatively you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Dacey, Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission.
21 August 2007
So only 30% of those registered as HEMP Party members confirmed. Our deepest thanks to the six that did.