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11 Aug 2017

Anyone enrolling to vote via post for the marriage equality postal survey could miss out on having their say.

Brian Mitchell, the federal Labor MP for the Tasmanian seat of Lyons, has been told the processing of postal applications could take up to three weeks – when the deadline to enrol is just two weeks away.

Mr Mitchell says Australian electoral commission staff are “scrambling” to try to deal with the number of applications they expect to receive.

“I’ve been told three weeks is a worst-case scenario but under this Government worst-case scenario is business as usual,” Mr Mitchell says.

“The prime minister has been boasting that every Australian will get a say in this survey but already we’re seeing many are likely to miss out.

“If we have to go through this $122 million waste of money the least Malcolm Turnbull can do is make sure every eligible Australian who applies to enrol will get their say.

“I strongly urge every Australian who isn’t enrolled yet to apply in person or online  - assuming the website hasn’t crashed again, and assuming they live in a region where there’s an office or they can get decent internet.”

Mr Mitchell urges the following process:

  1. Check your enrolment at Cut off is 24 August 2017

  2. Make sure your address and contact information is up to date

  3. If you have trouble finding your details, make sure you provide your middle name, or any previous names

  4. If you need to update your details do so online or RING or GO IN PERSON to the AEC office location.


“Unfortunately there are many other unknowns about this ham-fisted process,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Many Australians choose for their addresses to be confidential on the electoral roll - how will the AEC get around privacy rules regarding the disclosure of these addresses to ensure these voters are not cut out?”

“The fact is the Australian Bureau of Statistics is being asked to undertake this mammoth task in a matter of weeks when even with five years’ notice it could not handle the 2016 census.

“This survey is quickly shaping into a metaphor for the Turnbull Government as a whole – shambolic, expensive and ultimately pointless,” Mr Mitchell said.


MEDIA CONTACTS: TANYA BROOKS-COOPER 0428 203 826                                

11 AUGUST 2017

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