The government has just passed legislation closing the voting rolls at 8pm on the day the election is called. This means that anyone who is not already registered to vote on that day will be unable to vote at the next election.
This legislation will particularly disadvantage young people (first time voters who would not yet be registered) and, I would think, the less well-off; non-home owners or new home owners (people who have moved house in the last 3 years and have not updated their registration would not be eligible to vote in their new electorate, and possibly not in their old one either) – in other words, the people most likely to vote against the current government.
Apparently, they are also bringing in new legislation on April 16 that will make it harder to register for voting generally, which is just charming.
I do wonder about the legal inconsistency of all this, since voting is compulsory – it seems that the government is making it very difficult for disadvantaged people to obey the law.
In any case, if you are an Australian reading this, please, please visit the AEC website and make sure you are currently correctly registered to vote.
And please also consider signing this petition to the government to overturn this dangerous piece of legislation.
We have a really, really good electoral system in this country, and it would be a shame to see it eroded.