It’s time to prove your­self

Crack­ing down on fraud: why we should have ID to vote

The Observer - - PAUL MURRAY - Paul Mur­ray pmur­[email protected]

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 that 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 out­ra­geous idea, can we at least give the poll work­ers iPads so when you turn up to vote you can slide a lit­tle but­ton next to your name and it will mark you off ev­ery polling place en­sur­ing even if you want to, you can not 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.

So 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.

‘‘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.

Photo: AAP/Richard Wain­wright

BRING YOUR ID: Should Aus­tralians be re­quired to show iden­ti­fi­ca­tion when they vote in elec­tions?

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