The Electoral Commission now has a Smart Roll in NSW which gleans information and automatically registers people who have never been on the roll from vehicle registrations, driver licences, proof-of-age registrations, first home owners grants. Federally the rolls use Centrelink records.
The good news is that when rolls close for this year’s March 28 election, most likely on March 9, those not registered can still vote by showing up at their local polling booth on election day with photo ID and cast their vote even if their name is not on the roll.
The contra news is that a fine for not voting (unless you have a convincing excuse) starts at $55 and goes up with court costs if the Electoral Commission pursues you. Endgame is the possible cancelling of your licence or motor vehicle registration.
In NSW at this coming election we have optional preferential voting so one does not have to vote for any party or person they do not support to still cast a legitimate vote. This scares the major parties but is more democratic. An option I do not support, is an informal vote, Every progressive non-vote is a vote for conservatives.
So have an impact on the system at its very heart and vote. Keep in mind half the world’s population is dying (often literally) for the right to live in a democracy.
Ian Cohen, Broken Head