Last minute rush to enroll


Almost one million people are missing out on their chance to vote. With the election looking like it’ll come down to the wire, time is running out to have your say.

Hannah Kotaidis reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Voters had until eight o’clock tonight to register to vote but with busy lives it seems many Australian’s aren’t prepared.

The largest group of unregistered voters are the 18 to 24 year olds, with many saying political influence doesn’t come from politicians themselves.

VOX 1: “I think it’s more organic from actual people and friends encouraging me, rather than ads I’ve seen on television.”

For others, the right to vote is a privilege.

VOX 2: “I love it, I’m so proud to have become an Australian citizen because I get to have a say.”

Federal Labor MP Graham Perrett created a stir when he sent out a tweet disputing the deadline.

Today he defended his words.

Graham Perrett, Member for Moreton: “It was tongue and cheek. Obviously it applies to everyone, we want everyone to participate in the democratic process. It’s very important young people have their say.”

Electoral Commission figures show half of 18 year olds haven’t yet registered.

Phil Diak, Australian Electoral Commission:”There’s around 950,000 people missing from the roll still, of which there’s a strong skew to younger Australians.”

But say enrolling is as easy as ever with most registering online.

Prof Clive Bean, QUT Political Science: “Increasingly young people are finding ways to become politically engaged through the internet, through social media and those sorts of things.”

Our youngest voters have seen five changes in federal leadership during their teenage years, leaving many wondering if their vote will still make a difference.

Graham Perrett, Member for Moreton: “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to whinge for the next three years.”

Hannah Kotaidis, QUT News.