In July 2019, the Child Protection Party was asked by the Electoral Commission to provide evidence that the Party still met the requirements for registration in South Australia. We had to provide a membership list along with declarations from at least 200 of our SA members in order to remain registered. (It is my understanding that the requirement only applies to minor parties.)
We are now waiting for confirmation that we remain registered (at least until the same time next year when we will have to do it all again).
It was a tough job achieving this target. We had to contact all of our 451 SA members by mostly by email but we also contacted them by letter, newsletters and phone calls.
Approximately 1300 emails, 80 letters and 4 newsletters were sent out and around 150 phone calls were made.
Since many of our members advised that they did not have printers, we contacted ECSA asking if they would accept electronically signed declarations. Initially, ECSA refused to so a letter was sent to the SA Attorney-General - the person who oversees them. The Attorney-General contacted the ECSA commissioner who in turn contacted the Party. We explained to ECSA the way electronic signatures worked and sent them an example of the output that they would receive from the Party. The day after they received the email describing the process, ECSA wrote to the Party acceding to our request.
This was a small but significant victory since it sets a precedent that we can use next year when we will be asked to go through this whole process again. It also means that other minor parties can also use electronic signatures as long as they are using the appropriate software to collect them.
Without those declarations, we would have been deregistered as a political party in SA. That would not have stopped us from running candidates in the next State election but we would have been forced to run below the line greatly reducing our prospects of success. To have candidates above the line at elections, we would have to go through the whole process and the cost of applying for registration again.
To all who sent in their declarations, I offer our heartfelt thanks.