The submissions are piling up for the 2016 federal election inquiry, and we thought we’d use the opportunity to regale you with one of our favourites. The Australian Monarchist League, that band of populists, has thrown its support behind voter ID. Citing a Fairfax report that said 18,343 people had been contacted by the AEC about their names being ticked off more than once on polling day, AML national chair Philip Benwell writes:
“I am writing to express the concerns that the Australian Monarchist League has in regard to what seems to be an endemic problem within the Australian voting system where certain miscreants appear to fraudulently vote on more than one occasion.”
The United States has widespread voter ID laws, which are an effective tactic for preventing the poor, young or otherwise disadvantaged people from voting. But the Monarchists insist that isn’t their intention: if you’re poor or in poor health, they say, maybe you could get a letter from your doctor, or from Centrelink. Because making the unemployed line up for hours at Centrelink for a letter allowing them to vote isn’t going to discourage them from doing so …
The Monarchists aren’t the first on the conservative side of politics to talk of voter ID in recent days. The NSW parliamentary report on the 2015 state election recommends that NSW voters be required to produce photo ID before casting their vote.