The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is hoping a large proportion of the 955,000 eligible people not enrolled to vote by April 30 got on the electoral roll before it closed last night. A large proportion of those not enrolled were are aged between 18 and 24. According to AEC estimates, 347,264 young people were missing from the electoral roll nationally and would not be able to vote in the federal election on July 2. Phil Diak, the AEC’s media director, said the commission had run an extensive final reminder campaign in the lead-up to the closure of the roll. “We won’t know the figures until we have processed new ennoblements in the coming days and what additions there have been to the 15.5 million Australians who are already on the electoral roll,” he told 720 ABC Perth.
He said there were a range of reasons eligible people were not on the electoral roll, with the most common being that people moved house or go overseas and simply neglected to update their details with the AEC.
“We write to their old address on repeated occasions and we must, for the integrity of the roll, take them off if they don’t respond,” he said. “At the end of the day it is the elector’s responsibility.”
There are also some people who have personal views on compulsory voting and deliberately do not enrol to vote. “It is compulsory to enrol to vote,” he said.