Thousands of young adults aren’t enrolled to vote

Young adults make up more than one-third of those thought to be missing from Australia’s electoral roll.


National Enrol to Vote Day on April 28 in Canberra. Photo: Oaktree.

With less than two months remaining until the federal election, the Australian Electoral Commission believes almost one million Australians are not enrolled to vote despite it being compulsory.

AEC assistant media director Evan Ekin-Smyth said there were several reasons  young people were more likely to be missing from the electoral roll.

“Young people tend to be a bit transitory, whether it’s going to university, whether it’s moving state to a different university, to TAFE, to get a new job, going on a gap year,” he said.

“A lot of those things mean they need to update their address again, they need to take action. Or they drop off the electoral roll because they’ve been overseas for a year.”

Mr Ekin-Smith said it was easy to enrol online using a driver’s license or passport.

“Have your identification ready and you should be able to do it in five minutes. Do it on your phone, tablet, whatever,” he said.

Australian youth organisation Oaktree is encouraging young people to enrol to vote.

Oaktree media manager Natalie Liang said she did not know why so many young people had not enrolled, but there was a sense that people were disenfranchised by politics.

“There’s a lot of issues that are very relevant to young people, because it’s our future that is in the hands of the government,” she said.

“To have their views represented on this matter, they need to be enrolled to vote so then they can choose a representative.

“We saw yesterday with the budget, so many things affect young people. They don’t need to be politically engaged, but they need to have their views represented.”

You can enrol to vote here. Enrolments close at 8pm on the seventh day after the writs are issued for the election.