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Protect our voting rights!

Last night, a racist voter ID bill was introduced by the far-right of the Morrison Government — weeks out from a Federal Election being called.

It's the latest in a series of attacks designed to block remote First Nations communities from voting, it's voter suppression though and through. But with a history of fighting for fair and open elections,1,2 our movement knows how to fight back.

If enough people chip in, we can commission constitutional legal advice to force Morrison's hand on accessible elections, and fund a massive display of public pressure in Canberra next week – with billboards, newspaper ads, and a press conference on the lawns of Parliament.

Can you chip in to make it happen?

People at a polling booth holding a sign saying "we vote"
With Parliament sitting this week and next, we need your help to:

  • Commission top tier legal advice on the viability of a High Court challenge that could force Morrison to make voting more accessible for remote Aboriginal communities;
  • Travel immediately to Canberra so GetUp's First Nations Justice Team can lobby Ministers, Senators, and MPs with legal advice and stories from remote communities;
  • Hire a mobile billboard to circle Parliament as Senators discuss the racist voter ID bill in Canberra, reminding them of their responsibility to protect everyone's right to vote;
  • Buy a full-page ad in the Australian Financial Review so Morrison and his peers wake up to their dodgy voter suppression being in the spotlight; and
  • Hold a headline-grabbing press conference on the lawns of Parliament to garner media cut through and ensure First Nations voices are front and centre as Morrison tries to keep this new law underwraps.

Right now the clock is ticking fast to election day – and these campaign tactics are only possible if enough people chip in. Will you make these tactics possible by chipping in?
  • This bill is racist and unfair: These laws will most unfairly impact remote and rural First Nations people, in particular those living in remote Aboriginal communities with no fixed or conventional address. But it will also affect people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities (particularly intellectual disabilities), elderly and young people, people fleeing violence, and people for whom English is their second language. The bill can only be seen to be a direct attack on these communities' right to vote.3,4
  • This bill is not based on evidence: Evidence of people voting twice in Australia is basically nonexistent according to the Australian Electoral Commission. However, the use of voter fraud to stoke fear is a tactic right out of Donald Trump's handbook to destabilise our democracy.5
  • There are valid reasons why people don't have ID: It's normal for many people in Australia to not have a current ID – not having a conventional or fixed address, fleeing violence, homelessness, and financial difficulties, can all mean someone might not have an ID. It's not a good enough reason to deny someone the vote.
  • This bill will cause confusion: The technicalities introduced by these laws will lead people to believe they can't vote, and greatly reduce voter turnout in some communities. Even those who do make it to the polls without ID will be faced with inadequate and risky backup options to help them vote. It's not good enough.

This bill lays bare the Morrison Government's disregard for fair, open, and accessible elections – and that's why we're ramping up the pressure before it's too late for the next election. With your help we can arm ourselves with legal advice, and hit Morrison where he's vulnerable with a massive surge of public pressure – in Canberra, in newspapers, and online. Will you help mobilise a massive response to Morrison's attacks on our voting rights before it's too late?
First Nations communities are already facing unfair barriers to voting, even without the Voter ID Bill. Morrison Government failures — like underfunding the AEC, and refusing to work with communities on supports — have meant that 42% of First Nations people aren't enrolled to vote. And barriers to enrollment and voting have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

COVID restrictions mean the Electoral Commission can't travel to remote Aboriginal communities and get people enrolled to vote.

People shouldn't be denied their democratic right because of the Morrison Government's failure to protect them. Which is why our campaign will demand that the government change the rules so that First Nations communities can enrol to vote right up until election day.

In the Northern Territory state election, we won our campaign demanding the AEC extend enrolment to polling day. We need to do the same this Federal Election.

People at a polling booth holding a sign saying "we vote"
[1] GetUp! High Court win overturns Howard's electoral laws, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 2010.
[2] Kill Bill: 'discriminatory' voter ID laws dropped as Lambie denies support, SBS News, 1 December 2021.
[3] 'Intellectual Disability and Voting', Ellen Skladzien, 18 December 2019.
[4] 'Proposed voter ID laws to disproportionately impact First Nations peoples', NITV, 28 October 2021.
[5] Ibid.