Why shouldn’t you need ID to vote?

Daily Mercury - - YOUR SAY -

YOU need ID to rent a car, but not to vote. This week a re­port into the last elec­tion came out in Can­berra and ap­par­ently the idea of get­ting peo­ple to prove who they are be­fore they vote is too hot to han­dle and won’t be in place by next year’s elec­tion.

Those who ar­gue against the ob­vi­ous need for the change say it will dis­en­fran­chise poor peo­ple and make it im­pos­si­ble for them to vote. But the re­port doesn’t sug­gest photo ID alone. They say an elec­tric­ity or water bill would be enough and if you don’t have one of them your Medi­care card will do.

The bar couldn’t be lower; it’s hard to think there are that many peo­ple who don’t have at least one of those things.

Late in the week when the re­port was re­leased, its crit­ics said it was a so­lu­tion in search of a prob­lem be­cause they say voter fraud isn’t a big deal in Aus­tralia. But the num­bers the elec­toral com­mis­sion re­leased af­ter the 2016 elec­tion tell a dif­fer­ent story.

At the last elec­tion more than 18,000 peo­ple voted more than once. In Townsville the seat of Her­bert was de­cided by fewer than 40 votes, but way more than that num­ber of peo­ple were ac­cused of vot­ing more than once in that seat. How is that not case enough for vot­ers hav­ing to prove who they are?

As we have seen in Can­berra this week, the gov­ern­ment doesn’t have a ma­jor­ity and one seat can make all the dif­fer­ence in their abil­ity to run the coun­try without go­ing cap in hand to a bunch of protest vote in­de­pen­dents. This isn’t a La­bor/Lib­eral is­sue; it’s about mak­ing sure the Par­lia­ment ac­tu­ally re­flects the will of the peo­ple, not the will of 18,000 peo­ple who voted more than once. If voter ID is such an out-

ra­geous idea, can we at least give poll work­ers iPads so when you turn up to vote you can slide a but­ton next to your name and it will mark you off every polling place, en­sur­ing even if you wanted to, you can’t vote more than once?

Again the crit­ics say there’s no rea­son to change the cur­rent sys­tem. I say there are more than 18,000.

Want to be on TV?

We are go­ing to take my show on Sky News on the road in a big way next year.

I love show­ing the rest of the coun­try what peo­ple in re­gional Aus­tralia care about and we want to give as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble a plat­form to show off their town.

If you would like us to come to your part of the great­est coun­try in the world send me an email and tell me why we should bring the show to your area.

Paul Mur­ray is a broad­caster with Sky News. He can be seen on Paul Mur­ray LIVE from 9pm AEDT Sun­day to Thurs­day on Fox­tel chan­nel 600 and Sky News on WIN.

Photo: AAP/Richard Wain­wright

Should Aus­tralians be re­quired to show iden­ti­fi­ca­tion when they vote in elec­tions?

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