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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  • followed A fair voting system 2021-06-15 10:17:44 +1000

  • commented on A fair voting system 2021-06-04 08:44:15 +1000
    The statement: “The winning candidate is the most preferred or least disliked candidate by the entire electorate” is simply incorrect as can be easily proved. The fact is that the preferential voting system is seriously flawed because it effectively ignores last and near-last preferences.

    Now preferential VOTING is the best system available. Period. However: the so-called ‘counting’ method is seriously biased towards 1st preferences while totally ignoring last preferences. The result is that a candidate can “win the wooden spoon” as being the MOST DISLIKED candidate by a healthy margin and YET be declared the ‘winner after preferences’ by a narrow margin.

    This is proved in simple numerical examples at https colon slash slash tinyurl dot com slash ElectoralReformOz all one word. This is not just an obscure theoretical problem: it is a real issue that can and does gets candidates elected AGAINST the voters preferences. The above link shows that 3 of the 25 MLAs elected in the 2020 ACT election were elected against voters preferences – and the link names those wrongly elected and those wrongly eliminated including giving the exact counts showing how the eliminated candidate won against the ‘elected’ candidate in a virtual one-on-one run-off election as determined by the actual preference votes at the ElectionsACT website.

    The link also introduces the authors Average Preference Rating (APR) system of fairly counting preferential votes to guarantees to always exactly follow whatever preferences voters have marked. APR allows SPLIT Partial Preferential voting which allows voters to mark their first few, and their last few, preferences: the SPLIT option makes it easier for voters faced with ballot papers such as vote 1-32 Above the Line, Or 1-140 below the line.

    APR is very VERY fast to count provided that all votes are SCANNED &/OR DIGITISED. Votes could be scanned on site and a VERY small file uploaded from each polling place and amalgamated very quickly at the main electoral office. The reason for the small file size and speed of counting is that no votes are ever distributed, every preference mark is taken into account and the system is totally fair. The system easily allows multiple parallel audit trails that make election fraud extremely difficult – it ist even possible to allow a voter to check that their particular vote was actually counted and recorded correctly in the count by using unique random vote IDs generated when the voter votes – plus candidates, parties and media could get near real-time info re individual polling booths or electorate tallies as votes are counted. The system allows even a close Australian Federal Senate Election results to be available within hours of polls closing.

  • followed A fair voting system 2021-06-04 08:44:11 +1000

  • (@Lizzz777) is following @voteaustralia1 on Twitter 2021-06-03 18:00:47 +1000
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