In less than two weeks time, while the majority of Australians flock to the polls and cast their ballots, young people across the country will sit in silence, stripped of their democratic rights by our cumbersome and anachronistic electoral system.
Last Friday, the High Court overturned the Howard government’s 2006 changes to the Electoral Act. The amendments had resulted in the electoral roll being closed a matter of hours after the writs were issued.
In an action brought by political advocacy group GetUp!, the court held these changes to be unconstitutional, thereby restoring the original seven day grace period in which individuals may place themselves on the roll.
As a consequence, an estimated 100,000 additional Australians, predominately youth, are now able to take part in this year’s election.
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