Five people referred to police over flag referendum voter impersonation claims

Police are investigating five claims of voter impersonation.

Police are investigating five claims of voter impersonation.

Police are investigating voter impersonation claims on social media during the second flag referendum.

The Electoral Commission, the body responsible for organising the referendum and publishing the results, referred an incident to police on Wednesday.

An individual, in a social media post, said they voted, or intended to vote, more than once using the voting papers from other electors.

Using someone else's voting papers is a serious, potentially imprisonable, offence.

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The Commission said it was an offence to complete any voting paper knowing that he or she was not the person intended as the recipient and return the papers.

Under section 59 of the New Zealand Flag Referendums Act, anyone convicted of an offence of impersonation is guilty of a corrupt practice and liable for a maximum fine of up to $40,000 or a maximum two years' jail.

"The Electoral Commission will not be commenting further on the matter as it is now with the police," a statement said.

The commission referred four other incidents to police during March.

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A police spokesman confirmed five referrals were received from the Electoral Commission regarding the second referendum.

"Each matter will be assessed in line with our normal process to determine what, if any, further steps are required of police."

The second flag referendum preliminary results will be available on Thursday after 7pm.

 - Stuff

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