MPs join teams to ‘observe’ postal survey processing
Federal MPs have been invited by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to observe the processing of postal survey forms, although a final count will not begin until after November 7.
The ABS yesterday said two committees of MPs had been established to nominate observers, representing the Yes and No campaigns.
The “observation work” will happen between October 3 and November 10. As many as six observers representing each committee will be allowed to do “observation work” at any one time. Both committees have nominated more than six observers, so they will have a pool to draw on.
An ABS spokesman said the observers would be “shown the electronic image of random samples of survey forms that have been categorised as Yes, No, or response unclear”.
“Observers will be able to indicate if they agree or disagree with the response captured by the ABS,” he said.
“The results of this interpretation will be included in a statement of quality that the ABS will publish on November 15.”
The ABS said some observers could provide feedback to their committees on the process.
Victorian Liberal MP and Yes campaign supporter Tim Wilson posted on Instagram a photo of his “observer pass” for the ABS, captioned: “Observing thousands of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ survey responses (and everything in between) to ensure the integrity of the marriage law postal survey.”
Asked by The Australian whether it had been contacted by many people requesting another survey form because they had “changed their mind,” the ABS said it was not a valid reason for requesting a replacement so the information had not been recorded.
The ABS said survey responses would be “data captured” during the collection period, which it said was a “common process.”