- May 24, 2021 at 2:38 pm #100010158NorthEastParticipant
Does anyone have any information on how to respond to an Electoral Commission of Queensland (Australia) fine for failure to vote.
I choose not to vote, however, now the fines are coming in.
Any help is appreciated.
- May 28, 2021 at 7:35 pm #firstname.lastname@example.orgParticipant
I’ve just received a notice myself for not voting in the WA state election.
Giving this topic a bump…
I did find this online –
Recommendation 9–3 Section 245 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) on compulsory voting should be amended to provide that it is a ‘valid and sufficient reason’ for not voting if a person cannot:
(a) understand information relevant to voting at the particular election;
(b) retain that information for a sufficient period to make a voting decision;
(c) use or weigh that information as part of the process of voting; or
(d) communicate their vote in some way.
Recommendation 9–4 The Australian Electoral Commission should provide Divisional Returning Officers with guidance and training, consistent with the National Decision-Making Principles, to help them determine if a person with disability has a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote.
It then goes on to state:
Guidance for Divisional Returning Officers
9.34 Under the Electoral Act, the DRO for each electorate has discretion to determine what constitutes a valid and sufficient reason for not voting. The AEC states that
the original decision of the DRO as to whether a reason for not voting is valid and sufficient is based on the merits of each individual case, in accordance with the law as previously interpreted by the courts, and within the boundaries of administrative guidelines developed by the AEC to assist DROs.
9.35 Administrative guidelines developed by the AEC, in consultation with its Disability Advisory Committee, may provide additional guidance to DROs in relation to the potential impact of disability on electors’ ability to vote. In the Electoral Backgrounder on Compulsory Voting, the AEC cites some practical examples given by the High Court of valid and sufficient reasons not to vote, including ‘competitive claims of public duty’, and:
Physical obstruction, whether of sickness or outside prevention, or of natural events, or accident of any kind, would certainly be recognised by law in such a case. One might also imagine cases where an intending voter on his way to the poll was diverted to save life, or to prevent crime, or to assist at some great disaster, such as a fire.
9.36 The ALRC recommends the AEC provide DROs with appropriate guidance and training, consistent with the National Decision-Making Principles, to help them determine if a person with disability has a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote.
As for sending a writ, or claiming that democracy by definition does not exist and therefore all voting is fraudulent – that’s a whole other kettle of fish… it would be nice if someone with more experience with this replied to this post.
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