AceBreakingNews – UPDATE – More young and Indigenous Australians are enrolled to vote than ever before, as the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) prepares to begin early voting in remote communities for the Voice to Parliament referendum next week.
Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Sept.22: 2023: ABC Voice The misinformation register currently has 10 common pieces of disinformation logged online. TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link https://t.me/+PuI36tlDsM7GpOJe
In a briefing to the media, AEC commissioner Tom Rogers said since the electoral roll closed on Monday night, 97.7 per cent of the country is enrolled to vote, the highest rate of enrolment since Federation.
More than 17.5 million Australians are eligible to vote in the October 14 referendum, and the rate of enrolment for Indigenous Australians is at an all-time high with 94.1 per cent now enrolled.
There has also been an uptick in the number of enrolled young voters – meaning people aged between 18 and 24 – which has increased to just over 90 per cent.
“We’re very proud of the work that we’ve done on the roll,” Mr Rogers said.
“We’ve done a heap of transactions from the announcement to the close rolls on Monday,” he said.
The AEC is preparing to begin remote voter services next week, which will involve sending workers to more than 750 remote locations around the country.
“We’re putting the final touches on transport arrangements for plane bookings, helicopters, four-wheel drives, I think we might even be using boats as well, to get the vote out to remote communities,” Mr Rogers said.
Ahead of the vote, 1.2 million Australians have applied for postal votes – an increase of around 200,000 from the previous federal election – which may have an impact on the count on referendum night, along with the expected high demand for pre-poll voting.
“2022 was in the high watermark for postal votes anyway because of the pandemic,” Mr Rogers said.
“People have asked me, ‘Will we get a result?’ And the answer is I don’t know. It depends on how close the result is.
“It could well be that we have to wait for the postal ballots to return before results become clear.” Loading…
AEC staff threatened online
There are concerns about the growing level of “vitriol” being directed at the AEC and staff online, coupled with inaction by social media platforms.
The AEC has currently referred 54 pieces of content back to social platforms for review, but only 16 have been acted upon and one dismissed.
“I wouldn’t want to highlight any particular social media company, it has been generally, and it seems to us a general reduction in the overall willingness to remove content,” Mr Rogers said.
“We’ve had a few things over the last couple of weeks, effectively veiled threats of violence to staff. We’ve referred those to platforms and almost universally they’ve come back and said that that doesn’t breach their standards.
“We’ve seen higher levels of, I’ll use the term ‘vitriol’, online than we’ve ever seen,” he said.
The AEC has noted misinformation and disinformation regarding the voting process has been spreading in the lead-up to the referendum.
While the AEC does not engage with misinformation and disinformation around the referendum proposal and is not responsible for fact-checking claims made by either campaign, it does tackle disinformation about the voting process and how to vote.
“If people are talking about the process and it’s wrong, we will deal with it and it will also put it on our disinformation register,” Mr Rogers said
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