If you want to vote in the ballot for same-sex marriage in Australia, midnight on Thursday, August 24 — tonight — is your last chance to enrol.
If you have not yet enrolled, not sure if you are enrolled, or have new account details that need to be updated, you must have it done before 11.59pm tonight.
Incredibly, the Australian Electoral Commission says nearly 55,000 people have enrolled in the past fortnight and an additional 577,879 enrolled voters have updated their details.
The electoral roll has increased by 54,545 between 8 & 22 August. 577,879 total enrolment transactions processed in this timeframe #auspol
— AEC (@AusElectoralCom) August 23, 2017
And what’s clear from the numbers is that people aged between 18 and 39 have massive, underutilised power at the ballot box with the AEC saying more than 500,000 people in that age bracket are missing from the roll. Enrolment rates are lowest for people aged 18-24 at just 85.4%, with an estimated 279,000 voters missing from the roll. Another 257,000 25 to 39 year olds are missing, with the enrolment rate at 93.9%, below the national average of 95.1%.
People from the Australian prime minister to Hollywood celebrity Chris Hemsworth have endorsed a “yes” vote to legislate marriage equality.
On Instagram, Hemsworth said: “Dear open minded, free speaking, laid back, life loving aussies. Marriage is about love and commitment and, in a country based on equal citizenship, it should be available to everyone! Vote now for marriage equality.”
A “yes” vote in the postal ballot would clear the way for a private members’ bill amending the Marriage Act to be introduced and be tested in a free vote in Parliament — where it would likely pass.
Meanwhile those campaigning against it, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, argue that it’s not just about marriage rather its about broader issues such as “political correctness”.
Business Insider’s Paul Colgan yesterday wrote an in-depth article about why such strategies as that used by Abbott are effective, and how Australia’s vote for same-sex marriage could it produce a similar shock result as Brexit, or US president Donald Trump’s election. More on that here.
There is also still a chance that the postal vote could be shot down by in the High Court, and if that happens Turnbull has said that there won’t be a vote on the issue in parliament.
The postal vote is scheduled to be sent out to Australians next month.
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