The Queensland Coalition government about 9 months ago had amended the Queensland Electoral Act to require an ordinary voter and a prepoll voter to produce identification before being allowed to vote. This is a very sensible measure, and assists to prevent Vote Frauds such as multiple voting and voting in somebody else’s name.
By the time all the vote counting had finished, the Parliament did not sit in February, and in March sat for only four days, 24 to 27 March. It is not scheduled to sit in April, and will resume on 5 May.
So in those first four days in the Parliament, just what would you think would be the most urgent business of an incoming Labor government?
Perhaps they would be interested in jobs, hospitals, roads, schools, reforming the public service, police, ports or the environment.
No!! They set about abolishing the voter ID requirements in the Electoral Act. And gave citizens only a very short deadline till Friday 10 April to offer comments.
We in Australians for Honest Elections found out about this hasty move to abolish voter ID only on Friday morning 10 April, so hurriedly put together this Submission to the Parliamentary Committee just before the 4pm deadline:-
Dear Parliamentary Committee
I note the haste with which the recently-elected State government wants to repeal the current ID requirements in the Queensland Electoral Act 1992, sections 107 and 2.
The ALP Queensland State government thinks it important to do this as one of the very first things to be achieved in their term of government (however short or long that may be).
I am concerned at the lack of democratic consultation in that the government has set such a short timeframe within which comments may be received - the deadline is TODAY 10 april at 4pm !
Making Vote Frauds easier seems to be a higher priority to this ALP State Govt than issues like jobs, hospitals, roads, police, transport, schools, agriculture, railways, ports and the environment.
“ELECTORAL ACT 1992 - SECTION 107
107 Procedure for voting
(1) An elector (other than one who makes a pre-poll ordinary vote under section 112 or who makes, or must make, a declaration vote under subdivision 3) is to vote by following the procedures set out in this section.
(2) The elector is, during ordinary voting hours, to enter a polling booth for the electoral district for which the elector is enrolled.
(3) In the polling booth, the elector must--
(a) give the issuing officer the elector's proof of identity document; and
(b) request a ballot paper from the issuing officer …..
ELECTORAL ACT 1992 - SECTION 2
proof of identity document means a document relating to proof of a person's identity prescribed under a regulation.”
The Proof of Identity requirements in Electoral Regulation 2103, section 3A are very reasonable and are not onerous.
“ELECTORAL REGULATION 2013 - SECTION 3A
3A Proof of identity document—Act, s 2
For section 2 of the Act … each of the following is a proof of identity document--
(a) a current driver licence;
(b) a current Australian passport;
(c) a voter information letter issued by the commission;
(d) a recent document evidencing electoral enrolment;
(e) an identification card issued by the Commonwealth or State evidencing the person's entitlement to a financial benefit;
Examples— a Commonwealth seniors health card, health care card, Medicare card,
pensioner concession card or repatriation health card
(f) an adult proof of age card issued by the State;
(g) a recent account or notice issued by a local government or a public utility provider;
Examples— a council rates notice, electricity account statement, gas account
statement or water bill
(h) a recent account statement, current account card or current credit card issued by a financial institution;
(i) a recent account statement issued by a … service provider as defined under …. (Cwlth);
Examples— a telephone bill or internet bill
(j) a recent notice of assessment issued under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cwlth)”
Even homeless persons and Aboriginals in remote areas would surely be in possession of a Medicare card, health care card, or a similar concession card.
(When I was western regional Road Safety Manager of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority 1990-97 I travelled a great deal in central western and far western NSW liaising with Aboriginal communities from the Vic border to the Q'ld border to the SA border, and I created the very first positions in Australia of 'Aboriginal Road Safety Officer', and I employed two - I and these two officers assisted many Aboriginals to get their drivers licence for the very first time)
Therefore I cannot see that anybody could realistically claim to be potentially or actually disadvantaged by the current ID requirements, which did work well during the recent Queensland State election.
However lack of ID does provide advantage to those who want to "vote early and vote often" and cheat in other ways such as voter impersonation, which does occur
-- for example, when Alasdair Webster MP lost Macquarie in 1993 by only 164 votes, he learned that more than 164 Jehovah's Witnesses and other religious groups with conscientious objection, did NOT receive their customary letter after the election asking why they did not vote -- IN OTHER WORDS due to lack of voter ID SOME HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE HAD VOTED FALSELY, COMMITTING VOTER IMPERSONATION.
A one-page summary of Alasdair Webster's case is at:
This being a random sample leads us to the conclusion that the number of false enrolments was about 1,600 for the whole electorate at that time.
I note that the AEC admitted that there were 18,770 multiple votes in the September 2013 federal election, but provided no data on voter impersonations, which were made possible by lack of voter ID in the Commonwealth Electoral Act.
I urge that the current voter ID requirements be retained, and also be expanded to include more stringent identity requirements for Postal votes.