The Greens say proposed voter identification laws are a solution in search of a problem that will only serve to disenfranchise voters who are already largely excluded from the political process.
The mooted laws, which have long been championed by the far right, could wrongly exclude eligible voters, including First Nations voters, young voters, homeless or itinerant voters, and voters escaping domestic violence.
Greens deputy leader and democracy spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said:
“Voter identification laws are a purely political tactic from a government that’s sliding in the polls and desperate to ignite a culture war to boost its electoral fortunes.
“Voter ID laws are a solution in search of a problem. At the last federal election there were a total of 19 verified instances of double voting. There is zero credible evidence that election outcomes are being corrupted by voter fraud.
“Recent legislative changes allow the Australian Electoral Commission to identify voters suspected of multiple voting and require their future ballots to be cast by declaration. This reform is more than enough to address any perceived risk of multiple voting.
“Far from safeguarding our elections, voter identification laws would in fact be likely to make them less democratic, disenfranchising many citizens who are entirely eligible to vote.
“The government is insisting on seeing voters’ IDs, but won’t try to find out the ID of Porter’s donors. And while they’re rushing through a bill to deal with imaginary integrity issues, the Australian people are still waiting on an ICAC bill to deal with real integrity issues.
“This is cynical Trumpian politicking on the eve of an election, designed to inflame culture war tensions, undermine confidence in our electoral systems and suppress the vote.”