Advise me on the Voter ID laws
I believe you have the right to be heard by your politicians. That's why I want your advice on this issue.
Should we need an ID to vote?
You show your licence when you go to a sports club or an RSL, so why shouldn’t you show it before you get to vote?
That’s what the Government reckons, anyway. They want to pass new laws to make voters prove our identity before we vote on election day.
Some people say the laws are racist, because new Australian citizens and indigenous people are less likely to have ID. Others say we need voter ID to make our democratic systems fair, and that there are adequate protections to help vulnerable people manage the new requirements.
The Government needs my support to make voter ID happen. Do you think I should give it to them?
How voter ID works
The basic idea is that you’ll show your ID at the polling booth before you get your ballot papers. You could use a driver’s licence, a Medicare card, or an electricity bill with your name on it.
If you don’t have ID, you can ask a friend who does to vouch for you. Or you can use what’s called a ‘declaration vote’, which will count if officials confirm who you are later on.
What people are saying about it
Here are the arguments for and against –
The ‘for’ camp say:
- Requiring ID at polling booths stops people from stealing someone else’s vote, and makes it more difficult for people to vote twice.
- Voter ID stops fraud from happening in swing seats that are won or lost thanks to a small number of voters.
- Making it harder to cast false votes improves trust in our electoral system, and shows that we take our democracy seriously.
The ‘against’ camp say:
- Lots of vulnerable people don’t have ID. Some of them won’t vote if they can’t prove their identity, or if they’re put off by the extra requirements.
- There’s no evidence voter fraud happens in Australia, even in swing seats. Most cases of multiple voting happen by accident.
- Requiring ID increases the workload on election officials, who should be focused on more important issues like checking the final vote counts.
I reckon the Government wants to pass voter ID laws by the end of November. What do you think I should do?
Jacqui's team is reviewing the responses.