Sep 2, 2013

London polling: how will Aussie expats vote?

Australians around the world have started voting by post and in person. But with hundreds of thousands disenfranchised due to strict AEC rules, will their votes make a difference?

Hong Kong Kevin Rudd

From New York to Buenos Aires, Vienna to Mumbai, thousands of Australians who are overseas have started queuing up to vote at 102 Australian diplomatic missions around the world, which opened for voting this week. Billboards spruiking Labor’s “New Way” (and new leader) have appeared on overpasses in Hong Kong and near polling stations in London. Australian citizens who are living overseas can also vote by post; more than 1.17 million postal vote applications have been processed so far (though the majority of those are for Australian residents who can’t or don’t want to queue up to get their sausage and make their mark on September 7).

But making sure you are enrolled to vote while overseas isn’t easy. Australian citizens who are permanently settled overseas and say they have no intention to return are ineligible to vote (you must intend to return to Australian within six years in order to enrol), as are citizens who failed to notify the Australian Electoral Commission of their intention to vote by the deadline, August 12. Anyone who has been living overseas for more than six years and fails to re-enrol every year will be struck from the electoral roll, and once removed from the roll, citizens must return to Australia to re-enrol. Of the roughly 1 million Australians who live overseas, the AEC estimates between 70,000 and 85,000 will vote in this election. In 2010 it was fewer than 75,000.

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One thought on “London polling: how will Aussie expats vote?

  1. Dan B

    “He says most expats want to return home someday, and they want to know they will be able to find jobs when they do”. Why would this mean leaning away from the coalition? If they want jobs to come home to it’s the coalition who will make that happen. Otherwise, under a Labor Government, and providing they currently reside in an Asian country, they should apply for residency there and return as an immigrant. That will be a sure way to continue working in Australia. ALP = Building Australia favouring unskilled immigrant labour…

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