If you’ve voted in Australia before, you know we don’t have modesty curtains around our voting booths to ensure the secrecy of our vote. That’s not without trying, however. In a last-minute High Court hearing yesterday, Dieter Horn argued against the Australian Electoral Commissioner that the Commonwealth Electoral Act required a door or cover on the front of the voting booth.

Horn has repeatedly refused to vote because he believes the booths need curtains, and the government has prosecuted him for his failure to vote in the past.

The case that a voting booth needs privacy was first rejected back in 2007. Chief Justice Robert French dismissed the current case on the grounds that it was an abuse of process.

“There has been no relevant change in the factual circumstances. This litigation is the latest episode in a long-running campaign in which, as the plaintiff acknowledges, he has in various ways sought to invoke the courts in order to obtain the result he seeks … This is not an appeal against that decision. It is really an attempt to have another bite at the cherry.”

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey