Australians warned not to post vote on social media

JUST as soon as ballots for the same-sex marriage survey began landing in mailboxes around Australia the forms also began to promptly posted to social media, but the Australian Bureau of Statistic has given a very good reason not to boast your vote online.

The agency in charge of the national survey has warned people not to post pictures that reveal the unique barcode printed on each survey form because it could jeopardise the results.

Images of forms, with and without barcodes, have already been shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, leaving the individuals who posted them vulnerable to having their vote stolen.

The ABS has confirmed that each barcode will only be counted once, but if a form is forged using an existing barcode and returned before the real thing makes it in, there’s a risk that vote could be counted in its place.

An ABS spokesman played down the threat of fraud in a statement to Fairfax media, but cautioned against posting personal information of any sort online, including their survey votes.

“We’re instructing people to follow the instructions that come with every survey form and return the form with their preference. If people follow the instructions, and they take care of their own privacy, we expect the survey process will be as effective,” the spokesman said.

Another potential privacy risk has been highlighted in a concerning Facebook post, showing a torch or bright light shone over a sealed ballot envelope could reveal the details of the vote inside, and potentially even the barcode.

The post suggests “any postal worker with a vendetta against the opposing side can go through and remove votes as they see fit”.

“Bravo government,” the post’s author wrote. has contacted the ABS for comment on this issue.

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