Electoral Reform

Every Australian of voting age deserves their vote at the ballot box but there is not much to stop a person from voting again and again at other polling places during an election. The 2010 Federal election was won by less than the number of people who admitted voting more than once.

Many people move house between elections. One in five of us relocate every year. Sixty percent of us have moved in the past five years. Data-matching between government agencies helps electoral authorities keep up with peoples’ changes of address. The AEC offers a very quick and convenient way to update a home address and it shares its data with state electoral commissions. But is changing your address too easy? Could someone relocate online to a marginal seat before an election, vote in that electorate and then change their address back to the actual place where have lived all along? It seems possible.

Years ago, you had to vote at a polling place near the place where you lived. People used to see and recognise friends and neighbours at the local polling booth. Today, for your convenience, the law says you can vote at any polling place across your electorate. That means your name appears on the electoral roll in every one of up to roughly 50 polling place on election day. Does that mean you could vote, say, 50 times? The law says no and it would be a crime to vote more than once in an election. Unfortunately, anyone with determination could vote in his/her name or the name of any other voter on the roll for an electorate without being prosecuted. If the voter gets an official letter demanding to know why they voted more than once, they could deny any wrong doing and avoid being charged because ballot papers are not signed by the voter so they cannot be traced to the voter.


JOIN THE FIGHT

Add your name and let’s keep Australian elections free and fair.