A new analysis of the Australian Electoral Commission’s data shows the Government’s proposed changes to postal voting could disenfranchise millions of Australians
The Electoral Commission has published a new report that says the Government plans to introduce legislation to require all Australians to have a voter ID card.
Key points:The report, released on Wednesday, says Australians are already registered to vote, and will only be required to use a voter card if they need to vote a particular wayUnder the proposal, Australians would only be able to cast a ballot if they had a valid photo IDA proposal by the Government to introduce a compulsory voter ID would also include the provision of a free driver’s licence.
The new analysis by the Commission’s Data Protection and Privacy Unit says the proposal to require people to have an ID card is likely to result in disenfranchisement of millions of people in the ACT.
The report says the government’s proposal would mean voters would be required either to have their photo ID or to have it in their wallet, in addition to a driver’s license.
“This could potentially result in a significant increase in the use of public transport and could lead to an increase in costs for Australian citizens, including those who rely on public transport,” the report says.
The Government says it is looking at the issue of identity cards and that it will consider options for further study in the future.
The Australian Electoral Act currently allows Australians to register to vote by filling in a simple form and handing it to a poll worker at a polling station, but the Government says the current law is not working.
The proposed changes are in line with a 2016 Government study that found that almost one in four Australians do not have a valid ID card, and a separate study published in 2017 found that just 1.6 per cent of Australians had an ID at the end of the last election.
The Commission’s report says it has not yet seen any data from the Department of Finance on how many people would be impacted by the proposed changes, and the Department has declined to provide it to ABC News.
Topics:government-and-politics,government-elections,elections-act,government,parliament,law-crime-and.-justice,parole,federal-electoral-committee,canberra-2600,australiaContact Pauline CottrellMore stories from Victoria