Opinion Number. 246



The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs

The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs asks to be advised on the question raised in the following minute by the Chief Electoral Officer:

The Commonwealth Electoral Officer for Victoria submits the following question for decision:

'A person whose correct name is A.B. but who for years used the adopted name of CD. has completed and lodged, with the Commonwealth Electoral Registrar at Casterton, a claim form to enrolment.

It appears that the claimant is a journalist by profession, and uses the name as a nom de plume, by which he has been known for some years.

The Registrar raises the question as to whether the person may be registered in the assumed name.'

It appears to me that an elector should be registered in his own name only.

If Mr B. has taken the necessary steps to permit of his legally using the name of D., he should be enrolled under the latter name; otherwise his name must, in my opinion, appear on the Roll as B.

I would suggest, however, that the advice of the Secretary, Attorney-General's Department be obtained in the matter.

A person is at liberty to change his name, and no legal formality is required for the purpose.

If the claimant has adopted, and is generally known by, the name of CD. in lieu of his former name, I think he may be registered in his adopted name. But if the name of CD. is merely a nom de plume and the claimant, apart from his professional capacity, uses and adopts his original name, I think he should be registered in his original name. The question is-what is his name at the present time?

[Vol. 5, p. 273]