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Is the self-inflicted reputational loss suffered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics having a negative impact on the same-sex marriage voluntary postal survey?

September 13, 2017 - 00:16 -- Admin

 “An Australian Marriage Law Survey Form will be sent by post to every eligible Australian. It will be sent to the address on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll.” [www.abs.gov.au, 8 September 2017]A reader recently contacted North Coast Voices stating that:“Two weeks ago I rang the ABS to ask whether I could send my marked postal survey back to them in a plain envelope because as I said to them, I don't trust them. They told me that my survey form would not be counted. I also spoke to my Federal Parliamentarian about this.”I suspect that this question has been asked a number of times by concerned citizens.Which raises a question - Is the self-inflicted reputational loss suffered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2016 having a negative impact on the same-sex marriage voluntary postal survey?The Bureau declares that survey respondents will have their privacy protected and that no-one will be able to identify an individual with their response on the survey form.However, these survey forms come with a barcode which apparently identifies Commonwealth Electoral Roll eligibility of the recipient and the electoral division in which an individual lives.So a plain envelope return of the survey form will not hide the survey respondent's identity.The Bureau has anticipated widespread mistrust in its ability to conduct this national survey without a monumental blunder à la Census 2016. Accoding to its website a survey response will be considered invalid if; The printed barcode on the form is missing or altered.It seems the only individuals with some form of privacy protection are those who are registered as ‘silent voters’ on the electoral roll - they at least will allegedly have their residential address hidden from the ABS and survey forms mailed out by the Australian Electoral Commission in an AEC envelope.