INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens celebrate online enrolment win

Published: Tue 27 Aug 2013 03:56 PM
27 August 2013
Greens celebrate online enrolment win
The Green Party is celebrating the inclusion of full online voter enrolment as part of the changes to electoral law announced today by the Government.
“Full online enrolment is something that the Green Party pushed strongly for and it’s great to see that the Government is progressing this,” said Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Holly Walker.
“The changes announced today will modernise our electoral law and are much needed because of the low voter engagement at the last election.
“Full online enrolment will make a big difference to the trend of low voter turnout, especially among young people.
“The biggest concern from the last election was the record low level of turnout. Making it easier for people to take that first step of enrolling to vote will make a big difference to participation, particularly for young people.
“It is also promising to see that greater transparency will be applied to the disclosure of loans to candidates and political parties to make them the same as donations. The current law allows a loophole where money can be lent for campaigning and then the loans are forgiven after the election without having to be declared.
“It is disappointing that the Government has chosen not to prioritise the recommendations from the committee about improving accessibility for voters with impairments. The Human Rights Commission provided the committee with clear recommendations on improving the voting rights of people with disabilities, and it is a shame that these have not been included in this bill.
“A number of other recommendations were made at the committee that don’t require a change in the law. These include a commitment to expanding the role of civics education in schools, which would go a long way in helping to address youth disengagement.
“I urge the Minister to actively work with the Electoral Commission to progress these remaining recommendations as soon as possible to ensure the good work of the committee does not go to waste.”
ENDS

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