Darren Bergwerf tells voters to text him a photo of their Australian federal election ballot papers

Bizarre reason a trader running for office wants Australians to text him one photo of the ballot at a time

  • Darren Bergwerf is running as an independent for the federal electorate of Dunkley
  • Residents of the Victorian seat received ballot papers with his phone number
  • He asked people to send him photos of their completed ballots

A merchant running for federal office asked voters to text him pictures of their ballots when they cast them.

Darren Bergwerf, 52, a builder and carpenter, is campaigning as an independent for the seat of Dunkley in Melbourne’s southeast.

A local shared a photo of their how to vote card after receiving it in the mail and asked why the phone number was included.

‘Noooo, Dazza the Tradie, I won’t give you my mobile number. Is it even legal? they wrote.

“I wouldn’t make you move a hole from one end of the garden to the other.

Baffled residents wanted to know why they had been sent how-to-vote cards with an SMS request for photos of their completed ballots (pictured)

Mr. Bergwerf shared a video on his social media in which he explained why he had included the number at the bottom of his slips.

“I have heard allegations that shady things may be happening in some electorates in the voting booths or the counting room,” he said.

He explained that he wanted voters to take “a few more steps to make sure we have free and fair elections.”

“I am the only patriotic freedom fighter independent on the ballot in Dunkley,” he said.

”I have a few more things I would like you to do in my constituency and the main one is to take a photo of your ballot after you have filled it in.

“On your how to vote card that we distribute on election day and that we publish by post, there is a number where you can text this photo so that we can have a record based on the number of votes that we let’s get.”

Mr Bergerf (pictured) explained that he wanted the messages to ensure that the votes cast for him were recorded and that the election was

Mr Bergerf (pictured) explained he wanted the messages to ensure that votes cast for him were being recorded and that the election was ‘free and fair’

The builder operates on a platform of supporting homeless youth, revamping the education system and limiting foreign businesses in Australia

The builder operates on a platform of supporting homeless youth, revamping the education system and limiting foreign businesses in Australia

Mr Bergwerf also asked voters to mark number ones with a line at the bottom and their sevens with a dash in the center “so they cannot be twisted the other way around”.

Mr Bergwerf’s biography says he has built a life for his family after he was kicked out of his home at the age of 16 and is “working proudly alongside his sons”.

Its policies include building new facilities to support homeless youth, revamping the curriculum and increasing teachers’ salaries, and recognizing First Nations people as sovereign landowners.

Dunkley is a fringe seat with Labor’s Peta Murphy, the incumbent with 52.7% of both parties’ preferred vote in 2019.

She is running again alongside Mr Bergwerf, Sharn Coombes for the Liberals, Adrian Irvine for the UAP, Kathryn Woods for the Australian Federation Party, Liam O’Brien for the Greens and Scott Middlebrook for One Nation.

Mr Bergwerf (pictured) also said he wanted people to mark their ones and sevens with dashes so they couldn't be

Mr Bergwerf (pictured) also said he wanted people to mark their ones and sevens with dashes so they could not be ‘misrepresented’ in the counting room

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Jack C. Nugent