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Voter Integrity : Really !

With great and perhaps undue haste the government wants to introduce legislation before the next election that will require you to carry suitable and acceptable personal ID when you next vote.

The need for this legislation we are told is to maintain voter integrity, in particular to avoid voters voting multiple times ; even though, there is no evidence that this has been a problem in the past.

The government have resisted calls for the AEC to actually issue a voter ID to all registered voters before the election in 2022. The reason they will not do this is that it would ideally have to be a photo ID and this goes against the conservative grain as it implies too much government in our lives ; something the coalition are positively against. So, the responsibility falls back on the individual to provide personal ID and for the election booth official to verify this on the day.

In my regional area the process so far has been that you front up, give your name and address and the official manually draws a line through you name on a hard-copy of the electoral roll ; for some reason we haven’t got the roll online but perhaps that will change (anybody know ?). Having a manual system is, of course open to voter fraud as you could easily pop along to an adjoining suburb, enter another booth, have your name and address again pencilled through and vote for a second time and that would only come to light some months later if at all.

Personally, I have retained a post-card sent to me by the AEC some years ago when our electorate boundaries changed. This card tells me my name, address and details of my electoral division and confirms my registration. I normally take this card along when I vote just in case and will continue to do that. Just as an exercise, this morning I thought that I would check my electoral status on the federal electoral roll – guess what, after several attempts it could not find me – check it out for yourself here.

The odd thing is that, if on the day the electoral official cannot find me on the electoral roll and refuses to allow me to vote, I can expect to be fined some time in the future for failing to vote as required by law !

As I mentioned elsewhere the other day, I have written to my local member asking him to insist that, if this legislation goes through as the government insist it must, that the AEC be required to send a personal ID postcard to every registered voter prior to next election (inevitably for a number of reasons it would not be a photo ID but it would be something). I suggest you could do likewise but you will have to be quick as they want this legislation through the House next week.

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18 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    It’s a bit rich for this government to introduce the concept of ‘integrity’ into their administration. It has not been part of the Coalition’s approach since 1972.

  2. Henry Rodrigues

    If its ok for Trump, then as night follows day, the coalition thinks its a great idea. Such a bunch of suckers and suckups.

  3. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Terence.

    What if you’re homeless?

  4. David

    Ya just gotta laugh at this pathetic mob. Integrity!! They obviously believe there are sufficient numbers of naive punters out here in voterland who’ll swallow their codswallop. Morrison’s not just being disingenuous, he’s lying, again. Something at which he certainly excels.

  5. Gangey1959

    When are We the Voter going to get a Votee Integrity Bill?
    On their current form, that would seem to be far more of an imperative.

  6. GL

    Terence,

    When I turned 18 I enrolled to vote a couple of months before the 1975 federal election many many years ago. Received the piece of paper informing me I was duly registered. Election time rolled around, turned up at the polling booth and was informed I was not on the electoral roll. Registered to vote at the booth and voted…hooray. A month later my father got a letter demanding to know why he voted twice and I got one few days later demanding to know why I hadn’t voted. Then once a month for six months I received a letter wanting to know where I had been living for the previous month and why hadn’t I voted. Turned out, eventually, that their system saw two people with the same (different birth dates didn’t count) name and freaked out so they kept deleting each time I enrolled because they thought my Dad might be trying to pull a swifty.

    To cut a loongg story short: Up until the 2007 election I had to enroll 29 times (10 of those times at polling booths) and swore that if I had to make it 30 they could get stuffed.

    So, in a roundabout way, the LNP and their persistent use of the word “integrity” conjured up the images of my voting registration fun and games. What Scummo and Crony Co. Inc.is doing is yet another step towards a possible authoritarian/religion based takeover.

  7. Phil Pryor

    Why would a group of conservative clods, clowns, cloacal crims, cruds, crooked operators, want some voter I D , for integrity, when they have NONE, do not want an ICAC, want no independent honest media, want to hide from reality, lie chronically, fail to act decently, responsibly, and, generally behave like refugees from a sty in a paddock?? A picture of Morrison or Joyce as an I D photo would be small, brown, circular, pungent, puckered and revolting.

  8. leefe

    I’ll consider the need for ‘Voter Integrity’ When we have a way of guaranteeing Politician Integrity.

    btw, Terence, whenever I’ve voted here in Tassie since returning (about eight years), they’ve had an electronic roll as well as the paper list. Maybe we’re just a little more technologically advanced?

  9. Michael Taylor

    Terry, this sucks. Well and truly sucks.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in remote Aboriginal communities where three quarters of the population don’t have any identification, such as a driver’s license. Under Scotty’s proposed laws these people won’t be able to vote.

    Before a Census one year we had a visit from an officer from the Bureau of Statistics to our ATSIC office in Port Augusta asking us if we could ‘educate’ remote people the importance of the Census as it helps identify where funding is needed. We had to tell this bloke that many of the Aboriginal people in the remote communities move from house to house, simply because they don’t want the government to know anything about them – or where they live – because they don’t trust the federal government (Who could blame them? Howard was PM at the time).

    Anyway, the proposed laws are convenient for the government as most Aboriginal people up there are Labor voters.

  10. Williambtm

    Australia’s Electoral Commission is unique in that its unknown-unaudited claim to provenance and accorded integrity, has never been proven.

    What is known is that every federal regulatory authority, no matter its true designated realm of ultra-power authority, has become so eroded
    over the passage of time, while under the primary authority of Australia’s Lib/Nat coalition party-appointed Attorney General, to have become
    purposeless.

    No longer do any of Australia’s appointed Regulatory Authorities actually regulate as that authority had been first intended, such as ASIC, APRA,
    EPA et-al. Each is open to being subjugated by some wealthy behemoth of Lib/Nat notoriety.

    E.G… ASIC & APRA, prior to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Australia’s Finance Sector, both these designated authorities had been
    compromised by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank in such a manner as to have been snogging away in an incestuous relationship.

    So much for any appointed regulatory authorities (during the Lib/Nat party government in leadership era, do not commence with nor introduce
    a clean pair of hands, therefore, this same can be directed to Australia’s Electoral Commission.

    Please note as has been so proven, this high appointed office has been extended to X 3 individual Attorney’s-General, meanwhile, none of
    the X 3 Attorney’s-General, has or had during their political career, brought a clean pair of hands prior to their entry into that all-powerful office.
    Brandis, Porter, Cash. They each were never a model of scrupulous integrity.

  11. leefe

    Williambtm,

    It seems unlikely that the AEC has been all that badly corrupted by political interference, given that they are against these laws and have said that there is no need for them.
    But if they have been so thoroughly corrupted, it tends to suggest that whatever fraud they have uncovered is largely in favour of the LNP.

  12. Terence Mills

    Donald Trump considered that making it easier to vote in America would hurt the Republican party.

    Trump dismissed a Democratic-led push for reforms such as vote-by-mail, same-day registration and early voting ; he said that is theses concessions were introduced in the US “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

    It seems that theses changes in Australia are on balance more likely to adversely impact young people, immigrants, the aged and aboriginal communities. They will tell you that anybody unable to provide adequate ID on the day will be issued with ballot papers and a declaration form for completion. On the form intending voters must write their name, address, and date of birth. Once completed, their ballot papers will be placed in the envelope and the envelope sealed. The envelope will be put aside for post-election processing. You would need more than a democracy sausage for all that, more like a pack-lunch !

    In the week after the election, the declaration envelope will be opened and checked against the electoral roll, and if details are correct, the ballot papers will be extracted and admitted to the count.

    In most countries where voter ID is required they already have citizen photographic ID cards, something the Liberal party are opposed to – go figure.

    At a time when we have a federal integrity commission (ICAC) that remains un-legislated and many problems associated with political funding that have been ignored why, you may ask, has this become so urgent ?

    For instance how can it be that a politician can sue our national broadcaster in defamation (as is his right as a citizen) but use funds donated from anonymous sources (was it the Murdoch family or Gina or Kerry or other media interests) we’ll never be told. How can this be ?

  13. Josephus

    This trumpian idea will disenfranchise many First Nations voters, as well as grey nomads or house sitters, the homeless eg women having fled violence so in refuges. I too have noted the care voting booth staff took generally (noting the horror story told above). If the government thinks voter fraud is prevalent let them issue the cards. Though that still excludes the usually less conservative outcasts I listed. Deliberate or just paranoia? If it ain’t broken leave well alone.

  14. Henry Rodrigues

    Terence….. One way that this happens is that the people have been co-opted into the corrupt scheme, merely by them not taking enough interest in what this government and its supporters and paymasters are doing to keep winning elections. I know the posters here must be tired of my rantings, but the people are just as guilty of perpetrating the evil, by omission or commission. Either they’re too dumb or totally uninterested. That what Scummo, the miners, Murdoch and the rest of the media have fashioned the election campaign around.

  15. Kerri

    Unless there are real time computerised lists to be marked as “voted” I don’t see how this would stop anyone from voting more than once? They might later catch up with your name being manually struck through with a pencil line at more than one booth but they would be hard pressed to identify which of the hundreds of votes at each booth were specifically yours. They will succeed in fining you but how do they negate your vote?
    Maybe there’s an idea in that 🤔?

  16. Andrew J. Smith

    We should not even have to talk about this topic, and worse it’s both disturbing and alarming, why?

    How easy it is for Australian political media narratives to fall for confected policy initiatives that fit a non existent problem, but reek of imported radical right libertarian autocracy. Straight from the Koch influenced ‘bill mill’ ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council; concurrently with the UK proposing Voter ID like Australia (same transAtlantic Atlas Network think tanks and media).

    By coincidence, unrelated, AFR reports that John Roskam has stepped down as head of the IPA (also in the Koch Atlas Network) and bemoans Australia for not following imported US radical right libertarian agitprop e.g. ‘freedom & liberty’…. and warns Covid restrictions are a slippery slope or danger….. equitable and sharing society?

    https://www.afr.com/politics/john-roskam-exits-ipa-amid-losing-cultural-battle-20211116-p599fd

  17. wam

    The LNP children are like the yanks and think blacks, the poor and dole bludgers vote labor so if they cut out a few of those votes labor loses cash and possibly seats? Cuckoo, why are you reluctant to give our Aboriginal communities the courtesy of a proper noun?

  18. Jacqueline Rogers

    It couldnt find mine either and ive been voting for over 50 years.

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