May 28, 2007

Enrol to Vote week

Enrol to Vote week

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

28 May 2007

Enrol to Vote week highlights the importance of making sure everyone, particularly first time voters, have their details correctly recorded with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

A variety of high schools in the electorate have registered, and I encourage everyone, particularly eligible high school students who are or will be of voting age, to register to vote and to ensure they are correctly enrolled.

According to the AEC, around half of all 18 year olds are not enrolled to vote and most 17 year olds are unaware that they can enrol so that they are ready to vote in elections when they turn 18.

With the closing of the electoral roll on the day the writs are issued, thousands of Australians may be unable to get on the electoral roll at the next election unless they have registered early and have ensured their details are up to date. Young first time voters are particularly at risk of disenfranchisement.

It is disturbing that with only months until an election, the electoral roll is well below where it needs to be. At Senate Estimates last week, representatives of the AEC admitted that once identified objections were processed and removed, the electoral roll would slump to around 13,250,000.

This is significantly short of the AEC’s stated target of 13.4 million. 150,000 is almost two full federal electorates.

If our electoral roll is not properly maintained, our democracy is undermined.

For further information on Enrol to Vote week, visit www.enroltovoteweek.com.au or for information on updating your enrolment, call 13 23 26 or visit www.aec.gov.au.