There are fears of an irregularity in the construction union election, following a complaint to the Australian Electoral Commission that a union member has been offering to submit members' ballot papers on their behalf.

The AEC received a complaint yesterday after members in Kalgoorlie had been approached by a union member who had told other members earlier this week that he could collect and submit their election ballot papers.

A letter obtained by _The West Australian _ newspaper, which has been sent to the AEC by the complainant, detailed the alleged irregularity.

"A bloke . . . came knocking on my door claiming to be from the CFMEU, stating he was in town to touch base with the members and asked me if I had received the ballot papers," said the letter from a Kalgoorlie union member.

"He said . . . because of the delay in Australia Post I could give it to him to take back to Perth to submit it for me, as (he's) doing with other members in Kalgoorlie."

But Australia Post confirmed yesterday that there are no postal delays in the region.

It usually takes two days to deliver mail from Kalgoorlie to Perth, which would allow plenty of time for postal voters to meet the ballot deadline on Monday, November 26.

The concern behind the complaint is the fear that the conduct could affect the outcome of the election.

Under the Fair Work Act, votes in union elections are meant to be private and secret, with all members submitting their individual votes to the AEC by post.

The intention of the secret postal ballot, which was introduced under the previous Workchoices regime, is to ensure that members can vote without fear of intimidation.

Voting in union elections is not compulsory.

The complainant said the AEC had said it would inquire into the matter, but the commission yesterday refused to confirm or deny an investigation when questioned by the media.

The union did not respond to questions.

The West Australian

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