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Queensland To Introduce Voter ID Law, Increase Funding Threshold, Allow Unlimited Donations

Requiring electors to produce identification when they vote is part of a package of electoral reforms to be introduced by the Queensland government.

Voters will be required to produce a driver licence, passport, utility bill, Medicare card or similiar identification when they turn up to vote.

The government is also proposing to increase the primary vote threshold for public funding from 4% to 10%, a measure that will severely affect the level of funding provided to minor parties, including the Greens and the Palmer United Party.

The government is proposing to publish how-to-vote cards on the Electoral Commission’s website during elections.

The most controversial measure proposes to abolish caps on political donations and expenditure. The government plans to bring donation disclosure regulations in line with federal laws.

Media statement from Jarrod Bleijie, Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

Voting revolution for Queensland

Voting will be revolutionised at the next state election under electoral reforms introduced in Parliament today.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said Queensland’s electoral system would be modernised and simplified but also better protected.

“By thinking outside of the ballot box, Queensland will lead the way with its electoral system,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Voting will enter the digital age at the next state election with electronic voting to be made available for voters with disabilities.

“Blind and vision impaired voters will be able to phone in their vote via an electronic assisted voting (EAV) system and physically disadvantaged electors will also be able to cast their vote electronically at selected polling booths.

“If successful, expanding EAV will be considered.

“We want to make participation in democracy as easy as possible, so we are removing all restrictions for eligibility for postal or pre-poll votes.

“Maintaining the integrity of our electoral system is vital so proof of identity will be required on polling days to prevent voter impersonation.

“We know everyone doesn’t have photo identification, so we’ve included a broad range of acceptable forms of ID.”

They are:

  • Current driver licence
  • Current Australian passport
  • Voter identification letter issued by the ECQ
  • Recent account or notice issued by a public utility
  • Identification card issued by the Commonwealth or a State as evidence of the person’s entitlement to a financial benefit (eg a Commonwealth seniors health card, Medicare card, pensioner concession card)

“Voters who do not provide ID when attending a polling booth will be required to make a declaration vote, similar to people who vote outside of their electorate on polling day,” Mr Bleijie said.

Other reforms include:

  • Removal of caps on political donations and expenditure
  • Simplified public funding model for political parties
  • Increased threshold for public funding from 4 per cent to 10 per cent
  • Bringing donation disclosure regulations in line with Federal rules
  • How-To-Vote cards to be published on the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) website
  • Enabling ECQ to reject a How-To-Vote card if it is deemed misleading

“These reforms follow extensive public consultation, and more than 250 submissions were received in response to a discussion paper,” Mr Bleijie said.

“These reforms will ensure Queensland has an electoral system that meets high standards of integrity and accountability and promotes participation in our democracy through political representation and voting.”

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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