About two-thirds of the nearly 100,000 people added to the electoral roll ahead of the same-sex marriage postal ballot are young voters, according to final figures issued by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on Wednesday. Between August 8 and 24 the AEC dealt with 933,592 enrolment transactions, 87% of which were changes or updates. Those making changes and re-enrolments were mostly electors aged 25 to 39. More than 98,000 were added to the roll, of whom 65,000 are aged 18-24. More than 16 million people are eligible to vote in the voluntary ballot. Voting papers are due to start to go out from September 12, assuming the High Court rules favourably for the government on the constitutionality of the ballot.
The government is confident of the case. But constitutional expert George Williams, dean of the law school at the University of New South Wales, said on Wednesday that “the government is facing an uphill battle” to have the postal ballot upheld “on the state of the law as it currently stands”.
The government is financing the survey out of finance minister’s advance, and having it conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to get around a lack of parliamentary approval.
Full Article: Marriage survey: two-thirds of new voters are aged 18-24.