Hervis Rogers, who waited in line during the 2020 Super Tuesday election to cast a vote, is faced with two charges of illegal voting.
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A former Melbourne suburbia council member was given an 18-month community service and a AU$20,000 fine Thursday after being found guilty of tampering with ballot papers to win the local government elections in 2020.

Milad El-Halabi admitted to tampering with votes, and following which prosecutors ultimately dismissed all charges against his wife and daughter, despite their initial involvement, The Guardian reported.

After admitting guilt to one count of tampering, El-Halabi was sentenced on Thursday. The sentencing occurred almost four years after a vote-rigging scandal tainted the Merri-bek City Council election in the north-westward, per The Sydney Morning Herald.

The tampering was discovered after the Victorian Electoral Commission alerted the police in November 2020, after declaring that four councilors won. It also cited an abnormally high number of voters, who claimed not to have received their postal votes.

Voters generally receive ballot packs from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) for the Merri-bek City Council election over three days. Following several complaints by the voters saying they haven't received theirs, the VEC sent them a second box of ballots.

The VEC and the police then launched an inquiry when it was found that 23 electors had cast duplicate votes during the voting process. Judge Stewart Bayles pointed out that each of the 23 forged ballots included fingerprint or DNA evidence from El-Halabi or his daughter. However, it is not known who completed and turned in the paperwork or stole the ballots.

"It is not clear precisely what occurred in reality, nor is it clear what your role was in whatever it is happened," Bayles said.

By allowing their return to the VEC, Judge Stewart Bayles determined that El-Halabi had "possessed and handled" the 23 forged ballots, which made it easier for him to be elected to the council's northwestward.

"As a candidate for a local government election you would've been aware of the seriousness of handling of electoral material without authorisation and approval of their return," Bayles said.