Electoral Issues

Every Australian citizen over the age of eighteen is entitled to vote in elections, referendums and plebiscites. Vote Australia believes there are six key issues in our electoral system.

1. How we enrol to vote

The process to confirm the identity of a person who enrols to vote is not robust. This opens up the system to manipulation and if a dishonest person registers to vote in a fake name, the votes of honest voters are devalued.

2. How we vote at the polling booth

Current legislation enables voters to vote at any polling place in their electorate. As identification is not asked for at the polling booth, a dishonest person could vote multiple times at different polling booths because there is no electronic roll that would prevent that. And because no identification is required, fake voters could vote many times.

3. Preferential voting

Voting in a federal election uses the preferential voting system, where a preference in numerical order has to be made for each candidate. So if a candidate fails to receive a majority of the vote, the second, then third and so on preferences determine who wins. It is referred to as the ‘two-party preferred’ vote, as it has to come down to a contest between two candidates. Some state elections require optional preferential voting, where it is optional for a voter to record a second preference vote, and so on.

Unfortunately, many voters do not understand preferential voting. They follow a how-to-vote card but not know what they are really doing. They may indicate a first preference for a candidate only to discover that their second or third preference has elected a candidate they did not prefer. Therefore, it could be argued that sometimes the wrong candidates get elected.

4. Electoral boundary redistributions

The Australian Electoral Commission routinely calls for submissions from political parties, politicians and the public as to how boundaries of electorates should be drawn. If a redistribution favours an opponent there are complaints. The lesson to be learnt is that we all should have an interest in the political process and argue for what we see as in the best interest for us and our community.

5. Eligibility of politicians

An Australian citizen cannot sit in federal parliament while being a citizen of another nation. This became an issue in 2018 with four by-elections being held after the High Court disqualified dual citizen members of federal parliament.

6. Foreign influences

Much has been alleged about Russian interference in the US elections in 2016. There is talk of potential interference in upcoming Australian elections by other nations. Both, if true, would be a serious blow to the impartiality of our democracies.

At Vote Australia, we will monitor these issues, provide solutions for improvement, and educate the public about them.

 


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  • signed Enquiry into Preferential Voting 2019-05-28 12:33:45 +1000

  • signed One Person, One Vote at Every Election 2019-05-27 17:57:48 +1000
    I totally Agree! Voting in Australia by paper is in my opinion is out dated, it’s time that the Australian Government Electorate is Updated to a Secure Identification Online Voting System.

    I went to vote on 18 May 2019 no ID was asked.

  • signed Enquiry into Preferential Voting 2019-05-25 09:16:51 +1000
    WE need to change the system if we are to have just one vote for one Party, in the UK the DUP received a total of just over 200.000 votes they won 10 seats, and control the government, two other Party’s received almost 4.000.000 votes each they won 1 seat, that’s the same as having a cricket match where 1 team has 11 players and the other team 168 players . in India the PM s Party received 200.000.000 votes said to be a landslide win, yet 700.000.000 did not vote for him, that’s how the one voting system works, the minority always win, and that is why there is so much corruption in politics,

  • signed One Person, One Vote at Every Election 2019-05-25 09:10:23 +1000
    WE need to change the system if we are to have just one vote for one Party, in the UK the DUP received a total of just over 200.000 votes they won 10 seats, and control the government, two other Party’s received almost 4.000.000 votes each they won 1 seat, that’s the same as having a cricket match where 1 team has 11 players and the other team 168 players . in India the PM s Party received 200.000.000 votes said to be a landslide win, yet 700.000.000 did not vote for him, that’s how the one voting system works, the minority always win, and that is why there is so much corruption in politics,