The last Federal election saw over 500 cases in the ACT where a person may have voted more than once, according to official Australian Electoral Commission data.
“In every one of the 506 cases in the ACT, not one was referred to the Federal Police – that to me is cause for great concern,” Senator Gary Humphries said today
“By the AEC’s own admission, a simple denial of multiple voting leads to no further follow up by the authorities.
“It is imperative that Australia’s voting system is robust and its integrity is upheld. If the net result of 29,920 cases of multiple voting is no prosecutions at all, where is the disincentive?
“We may need to consider better methods of ensuring voter identification at election time.
Now there are a few contending influences at play here.
If you have read The Education of a Young Liberal (and all Australians should) you’ll have some idea how the bright young things of both political parties stitch up their factional fiefdoms.
They gain control of the identities of marginalised citizens (usually recent migrants, but also the elderly) and add those identities to their “numbers” in sub-branch politics.
It’s no great stretch of the imagination to see those identities used at election time either.
If you know the name and address of someone unlikely to present and vote on election day then it’s not hard to imagine a “whatever it takes” operator popping down to multiple polling places and casting multiple votes.
The purple finger dye used in new democracies to mark who has already voted would do wonders here if only we were willing to admit there could be a problem.
Having said that, the Liberals have had a long running agenda of trying to make it harder to vote.
Their internal rationale is pretty cynical; they believe people with limited identity documents are more likely to vote Labor or Green.
So a lot of the high minded talk out of the Liberal Party on electoral integrity is not as noble as they’d have you believe.
As an interested neutral I’d just like to see the election ink rolled out.