About 1.6 million people who are eligible to vote but have not enrolled may soon find themselves signed up after the government introduced a bill yesterday to allow automatic enrolment. The bill, which will be opposed by the Coalition, will enable the Australian Electoral Commission to use ”trusted sources” such as driver’s licence databases or school-leaver records to identify eligible voters and enrol them. Once identified, an eligible voter would receive a letter from the commission asking them to confirm their address. They would then be enrolled and compelled to vote under Australia’s compulsory voting laws.
The Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, said to avoid corrupting the roll the commission would have to be satisfied the person was eligible to vote, had lived at the address for at least a month and was not already enrolled. Only 90 per cent of Australia’s eligible voters are enrolled.
Boosting the enrolment was ”fundamental to maintaining the strength and resilience of our democratic system of government”, he said. He said participation should be maximised, especially as the nation had a hung Parliament and all votes were critical.
Full Article: Automatic enrolment up for vote.