Oct 27th 2021

Government’s new voter suppression laws create barriers for First Nations people to vote

The Morrison Government's move to introduce new Trump-style voter suppression laws will radically overhaul our electoral system by making it harder for First Nations people to cast a vote and participate in elections.

The proposed legislation, signed off by the Morrison/Joyce Party Room yesterday, will impact most unfairly on First Nations people living in remote communities who do not have a fixed or conventional address.  

GetUp will fight any attempt to introduce voter suppression laws that make it harder for everyday people to vote on election day.

GetUp’s First Nations Justice Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin said:

“These punitive voter ID laws will see First Nations people turned away from voting on election day just because they don't have the right identification documents.

“Australia has a dark, racist history of denying First Nations people the vote, and these proposed laws are a very real threat to the right to vote for people living on country.

“There’s a two-tier voting system in Australia right now – and it's unacceptable. We need measures that make it easier for First Nations people in remote communities to cast their vote, not disenfranchise them.

“False and misleading claims of voter fraud are straight from Donald Trump's playbook – this is nothing more than voter suppression. 

“It’s an attack on democracy which will affect many everyday people who don’t have a fixed address, not just First Nations people but also young people, homeless people and people escaping domestic violence.

“GetUp will strongly oppose any changes to our electoral system that undermine voting rights or make it harder to participate in democracy."

“It’s crucial that at the next federal election there are no barriers for First Nations people exercising their right to vote,” said Larissa Baldwin.