Skip to main content

✍️ SIGN: Make voting accessible to First Nations people!

Everyone who is eligible – no matter where they live or who they are – should be able to vote in the referendum. But this is not the case among First Nations people – and it's not by accident.

Successive Coalition-led cuts have created a myriad of barriers blocking them from voting. The good news is that right now there is an opportunity to fix this – with the right amendments.

The Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022 – the bill that's going to define the referendum – is up for debate in a matter of days. Together we need to muster a wave of public support and call on Prime Minister Albanese to focus on undoing these Coalition-led voter suppression policies.

Will you sign this petition to call on Prime Minister Albanese to make voting accessible ahead of the referendum? petition-voting-rights-first-nation
Over the past few months, GetUp has been attending working groups and lobbying Ministers to ensure enrolling and voting is accessible and safe for remote First Nations communities.

At the centre of our campaign are four priorities:

  • Voter enrolment support. Allowing voters to enrol on the day of the Referendum, so long as their identity can be vouched for, can help increase voter turnout and particularly for those living in remote areas.
  • Making voting easy and accessible. Increasing translation services and making polling more accessible, especially in remote communities can help reduce barriers to voting.
  • Increased funding. By allocating better funding for programs like The Indigenous Electoral Participation Program (IEPP), this amendment can ensure that the heavy work needed to counter Coalition-led voter suppression inflicted on First Nations communities will be undone in time for the referendum.
  • Awareness and education programs. Additional funding for the Australian Electoral Commission and local community groups can build better awareness and address unique access issues that exist for remote communities.

So what's next? The bill is being debated in a few days and it's likely that the changes we've been fighting for will be tabled. This means the work to fix nine years worth of Coalition-led voter suppression starts right now.

Will you add your voice to this petition calling on Labor to protect everyone's voting rights in the upcoming referendum?
From the very beginnings of GetUp, we've fought – and won – on electoral reform and voting rights.
In 2010, the GetUp movement challenged Howard-era electoral laws that would have seen tens of thousands of young people denied the right to vote – just because they missed a registration deadline.2 We took this all the way to the High Court. And we won.

Less than two years ago in the 2020 Northern Territory election, GetUp fought for enrolment to stay open right up until voting day, ensuring those who otherwise would have been blocked from voting could have their say. And we didn't stop there – from Minyerri to Borroloola, GetUp worked alongside First Nations communities to enrol thousands of people to vote.3
And in late 2021, after weeks of intense action from GetUp members, we fought to defeat racist voter ID laws in Parliament alongside First Nations communities – and won.4

These laws were a last ditch attempt by the Morrison Government and One Nation to stop First Nations people, as well as people living below the poverty line or fleeing violence, from voting.5
We also know that an estimated 112,057 First Nations people were unenrolled in the last Federal election.6 So GetUp members have chipped in to support a groundbreaking report to show the deep-rooted issues with our voting system, and how we can fix nine years worth of Coalition-led voter suppression.

Getting these sorts of changes through takes a lot of delicate negotiation in Parliament, including lobbying the decision makers. Over the years, we have had dozens of meetings with the relevant ministers, allied MPs and senators, and members of the crossbench, to make sure that there is a broad understanding and consensus for these changes across Parliament.

Will you call on Labor to protect everyone's voting rights in the upcoming referendum?
[1] Indigenous enrolment rate, Australian Electoral Commission, 31 December 2022.
[2] GetUp! High Court win overturns Howard's electoral laws, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 2010.
[3] NT Election: Youth push to get NT mob on electoral roll, SBS News, 24 July 2020.
[4] Kill Bill: 'discriminatory' voter ID laws dropped as Lambie denies support, SBS News, 1 December 2021.
[5] Pauline Hanson claims credit for Coalition's controversial voter ID laws, The Guardian, 28 October 2021.
[6] Indigenous enrolment rate, Australian Electoral Commission, 31 August 2021


Will you sign the petition calling on Anthony Albanese to make voting accessible to First Nations people?

In taking action, I agree to GetUp's Privacy Policy.