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A fix for what’s not broken: why Australia doesn’t need voter ID

4 Mar 2014
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Are new rules needed to stop multiple voters from undermining Australian elections? Not according to the local and international evidence.

FOR ONE Australian voter, 7 September 2013 was a very busy day. While most of us were savouring our Election Day sausages in the early spring sunshine, someone was practising William Hale Thompson’s famous admonition to “vote early and vote often.”

Reviewing its records from the big day, the Australian Electoral Commission, or AEC, discovered one person had voted fifteen times, scattering ballots across their electorate like confetti at a wedding. This devotee of democracy wasn’t alone, either; the commission has confirmed it is investigating almost 2000 cases of multiple voting in the 2013 poll.

In ordinary times, the fact that 0.013 per cent of voters got a bit over-enthusiastic at the ballot box would not excite much concern. But unfortunately for the AEC, these are not ordinary times…

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2014
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