Same-sex vote lures the young

The West Australian - - NEWS - Phoebe Wearne

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.

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