AEC remote polling booth worker shortages amounts to voter suppression
[by Susie Gemmel]
Getup has slammed the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announcement that it has failed to ensure polling booths in remote communities would be fully operational on election day, saying it amounts to voter suppression in First Nations communities.
We call on the AEC to urgently hire and fly people in if needed to fill the worker shortages in remote communities as a top priority, and to urgently release a full list of the booths at risk of not being open on election day.
GetUp First Nations Justice Campaign Director, Amy Gordon said “The failure to have all remote polling booths open on election day amounts to voter suppression.
“The affected electorates have the highest Aboriginal vote in the country, and plans should have been in place to make sure their polling booths were fully staffed.
“Our local volunteers on the ground in the Cape York Peninsula this week have seen how people really want to have a say on issues like remote housing, health in communities and cultural heritage.
“Nothing must stand in the way of every First Nations person casting their vote.
“The AEC must urgently hire and fly people in if needed to fill the worker shortages in remote communities as a top priority, or provide alternative ways for people to cast their vote.
“We have warned the Morrison government about this issue for months and nothing has been done,” said Amy Gordon.
Political dirty tricks and 'skulduggery' scar electoral history in outback Australia
[Erin Parke, ABC]
The shameful episodes aimed at disenfranchising Indigenous people led to the creation of the first government-backed education campaigns to engage Aboriginal voters, which continue to this day.
NT government passes liquor laws to replace Commonwealth Intervention-era alcohol bans in remote communities
[Jesse Thompson, ABC]
Long-term Commonwealth alcohol restrictions in dozens of communities the Northern Territory are set to end in July, unless there is a last-minute extension to the laws by the federal government.
Solar illumination for Torres Strait community a boost for education, sport and culture
[by Michelle Zahra]
For the high school students at Tagai State Secondary College on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, when the sun goes down there are limited options for study and extra-curricular activities.