AEC refers two candidates to the AFP

By Anna Macdonald

May 2, 2022

election ballot papers
The AEC has posted to its website a how-to-vote guide. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has reported a candidate to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) after finding he was nominated in two electoral divisions for the upcoming federal election.

Malcolm Heffernan was nominated in both Banks in NSW and Brand in Western Australia, with One Nation and the Australian Federation Party respectively.

The two forms differed in both the spelling of the candidate’s name and date of birth.

The AEC has referred the matter to AFP to investigate whether any crime has been committed under section 136 and 137 of the Criminal Code. 

Heffernan told the Guardian he was approached by One Nation to run as a candidate for the party but was then dropped. Heffernan claims he was unaware that the application had been made for the New South Wales seat. 

Earlier in April, the AEC referred another candidate to the AFP. 

In the election of senators for Western Australia in the 2022 federal election, Rodney Culleton made a lodgement with the declaration he was not an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent. The AEC noted that Culleton is listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index as an undischarged bankrupt, and therefore referred the matter to the AFP. 

At the time, the AEC said: “If the AEC is presented with compelling evidence that other candidates in the 2022 federal election may have also signed a false declaration we will consider whether similar referrals to the AFP are warranted to ascertain if the candidate has committed an offence.”

Throughout the federal election, the AEC has been active on social media such as Twitter, responding to voter queries. The AEC launched a social media campaign to combat misinformation during the election. 


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