The AEC estimates that over 500,000, more than one-third of the estimated 1.4 million eligible Australians missing from the roll, are aged 18 to 25 years. In Bendigo, that means roughly 3,300 of the estimated 10,000 young people aged 18 to 25 years.
Whilst this isn't a new phenomenon, and has been case for the last 20 years, the Federal Labor Government is doing something about it. Now, for the first time, the Australian Electoral Commission is accepting enrolments online.
People can now enrol and update their enrolment using the online form, which can even capture their signature electronically.
In the lead up to the 2013 Federal election, the AEC has also launched its online enrolment service via a new Facebook application ‘Youth Votes Matter’, apps.facebook.com/aecyouthvotesmatter.
The enrol to vote app will encourage Australians, and in particular young Australians, to enrol online or update their enrolment details online and then share this with their friends and family on Facebook.
Unfortunately many Australians, most of them young, are missing from the electoral roll and consequently are deprived of the ability to vote.
Online enrolment is an important new capability that will improve enfranchisement, particularly of young people or those who may have difficulty with traditional methods.
I believe this is a critical election for young people with so much at stake that could affect their futures. I know from talking to the younger people of our community there is a fear that they will not have a job they can count on or enough savings for a house deposit.
Thursday morning (11th July) between 10am and 11:30am, I will be meeting at T'hooft Cafe with a team of young people who are keen to get their peers engaged and enrolled to vote. All are welcome to join us for a coffee, check their enrolment and brainstorm how to make sure every young person in Bendigo is enrolled to vote.
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