Culture

The Number Of Young People Enrolled To Vote In The Election Has Jumped Massively

Pats on the back all round, mates.

One of the eternal frustrations of Australian democracy is how hard it is getting young people enrolled to vote so the country’s decisions aren’t handed by default to wealthy Baby Boomers with investment portfolios to pad. In 2013, the AEC estimated that around 400,000 voters aged 24 or under weren’t enrolled to vote. Every time an election is called, the Australian Electoral Commission, triple j and various #youth organisations bombard your eyeballs with get-out-the-vote messages like this one.

This time round at least, it looks like younger voters were pretty receptive to that message, The AEC’s latest figures, updated to include enrolments ahead of the next election in July, have slashed the number of young people not enrolled from 400,000 to just 254,000, which means there are more than 150,000 young voters on the rolls than there used to be.

Getting more specific, 18-year-olds have historically had the worst enrolment figures of any age group in Australia; in 2013, only 51 per cent were enrolled. That’s jumped massively, up to 71 percent this time round. Similarly, the participation rate of 19-year-olds has jumped from 76 percent in 2013 to 83 percent today.

There’s still a substantial enrolment gap between younger voters and the general population — the AEC estimates that more than 13 percent of 18-24-year-ols are missing from the electoral rolls, compared to just one percent of people over 60.

But 156,000 young voters could make a hell of a difference, especially in an election predicted to be as close as this one. Now all we need to do is seize the means of produ- dah, I mean, get that enrolment rate even higher! Enjoy your Democracy Sausages on July 2, mates. Pats on the back all round.