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Enrol to vote and roll discrepancy

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 20 May 2016

According to the AEC, on 30 September 2015 the NSW state roll contained 146, 000 more people than the Commonwealth roll for NSW and there were approximately 272, 000 people who appeared on both the state and Commonwealth rolls for NSW but whose enrolments differed or diverged in some way. This is due to the differences in the ways that the NSW Electoral Commission and the Australian Electoral Commission add people to their respective rolls. Some electors are also only eligible to vote in Federal elections. 

This means that about 150, 000 people on the rolls in NSW may miss out on not tying in the coming federal election.

The Greens have found that there are roughly 150, 000 under 35 year olds (an average of 2648 per electorate) who are unenrolled to vote at present.

Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said, ‘There are over one hundred thousand people in NSW who may turn up to vote on July 2 on the reasonable assumption that they will be eligible, and those people will be turned away and denied to vote.

‘The Greens have been running a campaign on getting people to enrol to vote and have contacted a number of people in NSW to explain this situation. What is clear to us is that the current rules and requirements have clearly left many people very confused.

‘The AEC are more restrictive than the NSWEC when adding people to their roll and this is obviously having an impact in the total number of people who are eligible but not enrolled to vote in this federal election.

‘The AEC should be making every effort to enrol all eligible voters in this election.

‘The fact that rolls are closed several weeks before voting day is absurd. The rolls should remain open up until and including voting day. 

Further information:

To extract information the AEC use the National Exchange of Vehicle and Drive Information System (NEVDIS) database of Australian driver and vehicle information and Centrelink data. They have previously used the NSWEC Smartroll data and Victorian direct enrolment data.

To extract information the NSWEC use driver’s licence data from the NSW Roads and Maritime Services database, The Board of Studies when students update their mobile number to receive their results, and the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. They have previously used NSW TAFE and First Homeowners grant information.

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