“Voter ID Laws are not about Democracy” by Billy Gordon.
That’s what Queensland is doing by proposing new electoral laws requiring voters to have identification at the ballot box.
There is nothing wrong with Queensland’s electoral system. The Attorney General’s own Discussion Paper says it in black and white, “there is no specific evidence of electoral fraud.”[i]
Yet Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie is pushing for laws he says will “better protect” the system.
Protect against who I ask?
Campbell Newman’s Government should come clean about its real agenda to introduce laws requesting residents to provide photo or other identification to be able to vote.
This legislation is clearly not about democracy or improving our electoral system.
It’s about disenfranchising the most vulnerable, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, young people, the elderly and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
All of these groups are less likely to have identification, even the proof of address as suggested as a compromise for those who don’t have photo ID.
Just one year ago in America, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said “voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID law does not further this goal.”
The government’s own Discussion Paper also goes on to suggest that introducing voter ID would simply create “voter confusion”.
So voter ID doesn’t create a “free and fair election”, I’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and it could create confusion.
Let’s get serious about this.
This is going to have a significant negative impact on groups in our society that really need a voice, and need their vote to count.
I ask the government what was the “extensive public consultation of more than 250 submissions”? Were those groups who are going to be hit the hardest in this ‘faux’ reform consulted?