The Nationals have turned to printing their flyers in Labor red to win votes, in a tactic Eric Kerr has called a dishonest trick.
But Nationals Indi candidate Mark Byatt claims the bid for preference votes was all a surprise to him.
The "message to Labor voters" is even printed with the Southern Cross on a blue background commonly seen on official Australian Labor Party material.
It asks Indi voters putting Mr Kerr at one, to then vote for Mr Byatt at two.
This is in contrast to Labor's official how-to-vote card, which has Mr Byatt well down at number six - below independent Helen Haines, the Greens' Helen Robinson and even Liberal Steve Martin.
In a video message released on social media, Mr Kerr assured voters the flyer had not come from him and was "one of a range of tricks the Coalition is using".
"It is dishonest to voters and it's plain wrong," he said.
"It is disguised as a message to Labor voters asking people to vote for Labor one and Nationals second.
"While it is disguised as a Labor message, dressed in our colours and our emblem, it is actually not from us.
"It is actually a trick for the National Party locally to take our preferences and use them for their own.
"We know this because it came attached to the Nationals pamphlet and authorised by a Nationals volunteer."
The flyer was authorised and printed in Wodonga, but Mr Byatt denied the flyer was official election material from his party, as he would only ask voters to put him first.
"This brochure was not put out by the National Party," he said in a statement sent to The Border Mail.
"I didn't see it, I didn't endorse it and I wouldn't endorse it - as I have said in the past this is not how I do things.
"I would be asking Labor voters to put me first not second, as a Shorten Labor government is a significant risk to the regions, our economy and jobs."
The United Australia Party and Derryn Hinch's Justice Party have also chosen to preference Mr Martin ahead of Mr Byatt and the lack of preferences could be a huge barrier for the Nationals to overcome in their bid to win the seat.
Mr Byatt did not respond to a question from The Border Mail asking if he was worried about being preferenced below the other parties.
It is the second time during the campaign he has been caught out by Nationals messages he was not aware of, after someone from the party had a go at independent Dr Haines on Twitter.
On that occasion he was forced to take responsibility for the campaigners and apologise to Dr Haines, saying "we'll look at it internally to make sure it doesn't happen again".
It also comes a day after Dr Haines criticised Mr Martin and the Liberal Party for what she called "grubby" attack ads, using comments made at election forums to warn voters against choosing her.
Mr Kerr chose to send his own message to Labor voters who may have been confused by the red and blue flyers this week.
"What we're telling people is a very clear message that we do appreciate the Nationals supporting us and wanting us to be number one ... but where we actually want you to put the Nationals and Liberals and Palmer is towards the bottom of your ballot paper," he said.
"If you do see any kind of disingenuous or dishonest campaigning ... call it out for what it is and call people out for their lying and tricky ways.
"It's why people don't like politicians or political parties and it's why people are disillusioned, because we have lies and scams."
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