Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP welcomes the release of the Electoral Commissioner of South Australia’s report on the 2018 State Election and the subsequent reform Bill introduced by Attorney-General the Hon. Vicki Chapman MP last sitting week, on 23 July.
The Bill, the Electoral (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020, incorporates recommendations from the Electoral Commission and from Government, broadly designed to improve administration, streamline voting processes, and modernise the Electoral Act.
“The reform proposed includes expanded pre-poll voting options, optional preferential voting for House of Assembly candidates and a ban on election corflutes on public roads. I particularly endorse the latter as I believe corflutes are outdated, offer no value for voters and are just an eyesore and distraction for motorists that cost a lot of money only to end up in landfill.
“In this day and age, corflutes serve very little purpose on public roads, and I reiterate they will still be allowable on private property and for use at polling booths,” Mr Ellis said. “Other states have gone down this path and it is time SA also did.
“Proposed expansion of pre-poll voting options will allow for booths to be established anywhere in the State for up to 12 days before the election, and for electors to cast their vote at them without having to meet eligibility criteria. Currently mobile polling booths can only operate in remote locations or at designated nursing homes and hospitals.
“I am also keen to instigate the proposed changes to preferential voting in the Lower House so the voter can make their own mind up about who and how many candidates they vote for, instead of having to vote for candidates they don’t want. This reform rightly provides transparency of where votes--and preferences--go and is an initiative I firmly believe the community will welcome. “
Additional areas of reform include allowing voters to apply for postal ballots by phone or online, and provision of exemptions from compulsory voting for itinerant electors such as grey nomads, overseas travellers and the homeless.
“I now look forward to due consideration of this important reform in Parliament when it resumes in September after the current winter break.”