Morrison Government abandons its attempt to introduce American-style anti-voter laws

Good news!

The Morrison Government has abandoned its proposal to introduce legislative changes that would establish right-wing American-style laws and make voting harder for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

There’s no way to pretend that this proposal was anything other than an attempt from Scott Morrison to manipulate Australia’s electoral system to benefit himself, by trying to disenfranchise people who he thinks will not vote for him.

This outcome was only achievable thanks to the thousands of people who sent a message to Scott Morrison he couldn’t ignore.

This is a huge win for millions of Australians and a great example of what is possible when we stick together and stand up for what we believe in.

Why is this important?

Restricting access to voting, by importing American-style “voter ID” laws would disenfranchise vulnerable voters.

Australia is one of the most open and democratic countries in the world, but introducing laws that make it harder to vote would reduce participation in our elections and reduce trust in our democracy.

What do the experts say?

“The [Morrison] government has adopted this from the playbook of right-wing parties around the world at the behest of Pauline Hanson, without recognising the Australian electoral system is different.”

Independent expert Dr Lindy Edwards

“The motive for the current proposals comes from the United States, in recent times and particularly the Trump era, with the attempt by Republican-governed jurisdictions to disfranchise non-white voters and poorer people.”

Independent expert, Associate Professor David Lee

“Most Australians have some form of formal identification. But of those who do not, an overwhelming number are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Just like US voter identification laws that appear racially neutral, the proposed law therefore has a very real potential to be racially discriminatory in effect.

“Perhaps even more troubling, legislating in response to non-existing problems follows a recent and disturbing pattern in the United States. President Trump and his supporters have consistently suggested that the 2020 US presidential election was plagued by widespread voting irregularities and sought on this basis to overturn the election results and enact wide-ranging voter ID requirements.”

Professor of Law, Rosalind Dixon

“If this bill becomes law, it would potentially further disenfranchise vulnerable people of society who don’t have access to the ID documents required, particularly First Nations people.”

Law expert Dr Dani Larkin

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