Same-sex vote lures the young
Young people have rushed to get on the electoral roll ahead of the same-sex marriage survey, accounting for more than twothirds of 98,000 new voters.
Figures from the Australian Electoral Commission show 65,000 people aged between 18 and 24 have signed up to vote since the $122 million postal survey was announced on August 8.
More than 933,000 enrolments, most of which were updates to voters’ details, have been processed — 246,000 more than in the lead-up to last year’s Federal election.
Barring the High Court ruling the survey unconstitutional at a hearing on September 5-6, forms are due to start arriving in mailboxes from September 12.
More than 16 million Australians are now eligible to vote, including 1.6 million West Australians, and the data has been passed on to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which will conduct the survey.
Voters aged 70 or over make up 15.1 per cent of the roll, while 10.6 per cent of voters are 18-24.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said more than 3.3 million people visited the AEC website in the two weeks leading up to the close of rolls last Thursday.
The Federal Government lodged its submission with the High Court yesterday, arguing that money for the marriage survey was “earmarked” to be used and it was up to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to decide what was “urgent” spending as it sought to fend off a challenge from marriage equality advocates.
It said the minister could argue urgency because the Government did not have a policy for a voluntary survey until August 7 and the ABS needed to start work if a result was to be determined by November 15.