19 June 2007
The government has decided that anyone not on the Electoral Roll on the day the election is called will now be ineligible to vote. In previous years there has always been a period between the calling of the election and the closure of the rolls.
Those particularly affected by this decision are young people, who although eligible to vote through having turned 18 years of age, may not yet have got around to registering. In the absence of a fixed date for an election it has always been possible for a government to call an election without warning. This recent legislation ensures that young people in the situation described above will not be entitled to vote once the election is called.
The GetUp campaign to revoke this law has succeeded in obtaining a commitment from the ALP to reverse this law if elected to government. In the meantime the GetUp campaign continues with an online petition at the above website.
Many readers of this bulletin are senior high school students who will be affected by this legislation. All are encouraged to register with the Australian Electoral Commission so that they can fully exercise their right and responsibility as a citizen.