Honorable Campbell Newman MP, Premier of Queensland in Noosa for the Destination Q conference. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Honorable Campbell Newman MP, Premier of Queensland in Noosa for the Destination Q conference. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily john mccutcheon

Young people given just four days to enrol to vote

FIRST-time voters will be locked out of the Queensland election if they fail to enrol before this Saturday.

With Premier Campbell Newman confirming a snap state election for January 31, those not on the electoral roll will have just days to act.

LATEST: Campbell Newman calls Queensland election for January 31

Those most affected are considered to be those who have recently turned 18 and renters who occasionally change address but fail to inform the electoral commission.

Mr Newman urged all Queenslanders to ensure their enrolment was up to date.

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A fleeting window for enrolling is widely considered to put the LNP at an advantage, although University of Queensland political expert Dr Ian Ward said there is little hard evidence of that in Queensland.

However, there was still a belief that limiting the time to enrol helps the LNP while hindering Labor.

"Major parties believe that there is a potential disadvantage for the Labor side given that people who don't enrol are likely to be younger people and more pre-disposed to voting Labor or renters who move around," Dr Ward said.

"There is a common perception that those two categories are the kind of people disenfranchised when an election is sprung and where there is limited opportunity to enrol."

Dr Ward said the LNP in Queensland would be more focused on advertising budgets, strategy and candidates rather than enrolment issues, but may consider the timing a bonus.

As Prime Minister, John Howard attempted to cut down on voting enrolment times -- a move that was ultimately struck down by the High Court.

The Labor Opposition at the time accused the then Prime Minister of changing the law to deliberately disadvantage Labor voters.

 


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