Victoria Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government David Davis
Brumby Opens Up Election Rigging With Last Minute Changes To Electoral Act
Victor P Taffa
- Desperate Premier Changes Law To Help Retain Office
- Anyone Will Be Able To Vote Without Proper Checks
- Integrity Of Electoral Rolls To Be Undermined By Vote Stacking & Rorts
- Forced Enrolments Undemocratic
After 11 years, and at the last minute before the election, Premier John Brumby will change the law to enable unregistered voters to walk off the street and vote without the usual checks, Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government David Davis said today.
This means that electoral rolls will no longer close and unverified ballots by people who have not had their electoral status properly vetted by the independent electoral authorities, will now be counted at the November election.
“This will open up the potential for undermining the integrity of the electoral rolls, voter stacking and rorts.” Mr. Davis said.
“In a close election it may affect the outcome and risk corrupting the election process in Victoria.”
“At the last election, half the 66,000 votes affected by John Brumby’s sudden change could have altered the government of Victoria.”
“Having overseen the corrupt branch stacking of the ALP, John Brumby is now allowing the Victorian electoral rolls to be stacked.” Mr. Davis said.
Mr. Davis said the rationale for the changes by Mr. Hulls were fraudulent because:
- There already exist provisions in the Electoral Act for people whose name is not on the electoral roll but who are entitled to vote. This enables people to be able to make a provisional vote on the day of the election. Instead, the Premier will abandon the checks involved in this process. The effect will be that video stores will have stricter checks on borrowing a DVD than will exist in registering to vote in Victoria.
- If the government wishes to encourage more people to enrol to vote, the Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has recommended that the VEC run a strong public information campaign to educate people to enrol, not remove the checks that ensure people are properly enrolled and enable the rolls to be more easily open to rorting.
David Davis said the changes reflected an increasingly desperate Premier who is prepared to do anything to cling to office.
Under John Brumby’s changes, anyone can walk into a polling booth on Election Day without having enrolled and simply vote. That vote will then be counted. Previous checks in the system, including VEC verification of people’s residence, and citizenship, door to door checks, and postal confirmations, will not occur.
This will open the way to the organised rorting of enrolments and voting in electorates where the vote is close.
“We have already seen during the Altona by-election, the preparedness of Labor to use every dirty trick available, including push polling and smear campaigns.” Mr. Davis said.
“These changes would open the way for every dirty Labor trick to now be played with the electoral rolls.”
Mr. Davis said, while it was important for more people to be encouraged to vote and have their say, it was imperative that the system was not open to rorting.
FORCED ENROLMENT OF NEW VOTERS AT 18 YEARS
In addition, John Brumby will now forcibly enrol people on the electoral rolls on their 18th birthday taking the information from education records. Mr. Davis said that the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition has previously opposed this measure in its response to Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee because it:
“Fundamentally changed the civic balance between citizen and government and reversed over 150 years of democratic practice in Victoria. For government to assert the right to enrol citizens, even without their knowledge, is fundamentally undemocratic and an abrogation of the long-held civic rights of individuals. Enrolling to vote has always been a right and a responsibility of individual citizens”
Even the Electoral Commissioner has previously argued:
“Under a system of direct or automatic enrolment, an electoral authority would enrol people itself, based on information it held, instead of waiting for individuals to take the initiative and send an enrolment form to the electoral authority. Such a system would reverse the responsibility for registration from the individual to the government”