AEC says only people over 18 will be included in postal survey

The Australian Electoral Commission has squashed speculation suggesting that sixteen and seventeen year old Australians may get the opportunity to take part in the government’s proposed postal survey on marriage equality.

It had been suggested that the government may have inadvertently included younger voters because it’s instructions on the national marriage survey described that it would be sent to anyone one the electoral roll, and anyone who had applied to be on the roll before the end of the 24th of August.

Because 16 and 17 years olds can ‘pre-enroll’ in the lead up to their 18th birthday, there was speculation that the government may have inadvertently included them in the process. Some of the nation’s top legal experts said it was a possibility.

Today the AEC said such suggestions were incorrect, and that only the names and address of those who have turned 18 will be included in the information from the AEC that will be sent to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Accidentally including teenagers is not the only road block the postal survey has encountered. There has also been concern that silent voters, whose names and addresses are not listed on the electoral roll may not be included.

People who are concerned that having their name and address publicly available could be a security concern can apply to be listed as a silent voter. It includes lawyers, politicians and business leaders.

The government is reportedly looking for away to solve this additional problem, but silent voters may have to put in an application to be included in the postal survey.

Australians living overseas will have to ensure they their current address is registered with the embassy in the country they reside if they wish to be included in the process. People who are travelling overseas and have no long term address may miss out.

OIP Staff, Image: Priscilla Du Preez


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