Ahead of October’s Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum the Australian Electoral Commission is urging would-be voters to enroll as soon as possible.
Currently there is no concrete deadline when enrolments will close for the national vote, so AEC spokesperson Evan Ekin Smyth says it’s best to sign up as soon as possible.
“We don’t have a deadline yet, so the deadline is actually tied to the issue of the writ, the formal instruction that we get to conduct the referendum, we haven’t gotten that in our hands yet.
It has to be issued to us by Monday the 11th of September, and then we will know the enrollment deadline after that.
At the latest the close of enrolls deadline will be on Monday the 18th of September.
Our advice for everybody is don’t wait, don’t delay, make sure you’re enrolled to vote.”
For already enrolled voters who can’t make it to a polling booth on October 14, Mr Smith says postal vote applications will be opening next week.
“It’ll open when the writ is issued out for the referendum, so at the latest it’ll be opening at 6pm on the 11th of September.”
And for voters planning to line up at polls in October, Mr Smyth says the voting process will be similar to other national votes.
“You turn up to a polling place, and we will have similar looking polling places in the same locations across the country, you get your name marked off the electoral role, as you would for a federal election, hopefully there is a democracy sausage and a bbq outside your local polling place.
The only thing that is different is the ballot paper, you’re either writing either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in response to a question rather than putting numbers on your ballot paper.”
The AEC is also aiming to have around 100 remote voting locations issued out overseas, but postal votes will still be available for overseas voters.
Mr Smyth also says enrolment numbers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are now above 90 per cent.
“We estimate nationally that Indigenous enrollment is at 94.1 per cent of everybody who is eligible.
And that is a growth of 10 per cent in the last six months alone.
Estimated Indigenous enrolment hadn’t been above 90 until recently so its really good growth.”
For more information on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum head to the AEC’s website.
Image Credit: AEC Via Flickr