26 September 2023

Voices referendum has Indigenous enrolling

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is recording a recent rapid rise in the number of Indigenous Australians enrolled to vote.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said an estimated additional 21,000 Indigenous Australians enrolled to vote in the six months to the end of December, bringing the national estimated Indigenous enrolment rate up to 84.5 per cent (up 2.8 per cent).

Mr Rogers said the rapid rise easily represented the largest increase since estimates were first calculated in this manner by the AEC in 2017.

“It’s brilliant – more people are enrolled and ready to vote, which is an unvarnished good news story for electoral participation in Australia and closing the enrolment gap, but we know more needs to be done” Mr Rogers said.

“We continue to work really hard in getting as many people to enrol as possible, with a particular focus on young Australians and Indigenous Australians who aren’t enrolled at as high a rate as others,” he said.

“I constantly hear from international counterparts who marvel at Australia’s 97 per cent overall enrolment rate, but I want enrolment to be that high, and higher, for all Australians.”

Mr Rogers said the AEC’s recent direct enrolment trials were proving successful, with remote engagement work and Indigenous enrolment communication campaigns helping to achieve the continued rise.

“It’s just so pleasing to see the rise in estimated Indigenous enrolment being recorded in every State and Territory consistently, and with more significant increases in the past six months,” the Electoral Commissioner said.

“What this means is more people are ready to vote when they turn up to a polling place during an election or Referendum, or when an AEC remote voting team comes to visit,” he said.

“The estimated number of ‘unenrolled’ Indigenous Australians has gone under 100,000 for the first time – to just under 87,000 – and that is significant.”

The AEC’s estimated Indigenous enrolment statistics can be accessed at this PS News link.

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