An Election Ballot Was Sent To Ned Kelly At The Glenrowan Inn
Australia's most famous bushranger died in 1880 -- but he's been given the chance to vote in the 2019 federal election.
Well, kind of.
Andrew, owner of the famous Glenrowan Inn in Victoria, received an unusual delivery in his mail last week -- a letter addressed to one Edward Kelly, from the Australian Electoral Commission.
The only problem is, no Edward Kelly lives at the Glenrowan Inn. There hasn't been one at that pub for nearly 140 years, since Edward Kelly -- better known as Ned -- made his last stand there, in the storied face-off with police that birthed the legend of the bushranger and his metal armour.
"I thought someone was taking the piss out of us," Andrew told 10 daily.
"We thought it was someone having a lend of us. It was quite bizarre."
The hotel posted a photo of the AEC letter on Facebook, where it racked up hundreds of comments and shares over the weekend.
"Does The Australian Electoral Commission know something we don’t," the Glenrowan Inn wrote alongside the letter.
"If you see him wandering about could you inform him that he has mail at the hotel before he gets fined or hanged for not voting."
According to the AEC: "If you didn’t vote, you will need to provide a valid and sufficient reason why, or pay the $20 penalty."
Andrew said he had not opened it, nor would he mail in the completed ballot. A spokesman for the AEC could not immediately confirm whether the letter was legitimate but said that, even if the ballot were to be posted back, it would not be counted in the final election tally.
"There are several steps in the process to cast a postal vote, which includes an enrolment verification check when completed postal votes are received by the AEC," the spokesperson told 10 daily in a statement.
"This verification check rejects any postal vote where the details on the declaration envelope do not match a valid elector. As such there is no risk that a postal vote could be cast by someone not on the electoral roll."
The AEC said more than 1.4 million Australians had applied to be postal voters.
Andrew said he had owned the inn for a number of years, and this was the first time a piece of mail had arrived for its most famous visitor.
"Some of the comments [online] are quite entertaining...a few people accused me of doing it myself, but it's all legit," he said.
"I didn't think it would get this much attention."
Andrew didn't have any idea how the letter might have arrived, and the AEC couldn't confirm any further details about the letter.
"Someone might have registered the address and got it through," Andrew theorised. He added that the pub would frame the letter and display it on the wall.
"I haven't opened it," Andrew promised.
"It's not addressed to me."
Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol.