A record number of Australians will vote in the federal election on May 21, following the addition of more than 700,000 new voters to the electoral roll over the past week while the major political parties have started flogging their policies to the electorate.
Electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said more than 17.2 million Australians will be able to vote in the election and that this number represented more than 96% of people eligible to vote.
“Yesterday was the biggest single day of enrolment in Australian history, with 214,000 enrolment applications received – an unmitigated success for the election and Australian democracy,” Rogers said on Tuesday.
“We can’t confirm a final figure just yet but with more than 700,000 enrolment applications received this week, the remarkable state of the roll in Australia is something that is simply not seen in most places around the world. Quite frankly, it is a modern democratic miracle.”
Rogers said the teams at the electoral commission worked over the Easter weekend to ensure the AEC’s processes were not only functioning properly but were secure.
“We had almost 1000 staff working in our offices all around Australia over the Easter weekend, making sure we could meet this extraordinary demand,” Rogers said
“The systems operated smoothly and securely under the load and Australia now has the highest base for democratic participation it has ever had.”
Enrolment of new voters and revisions to existing voter details are not the only things that the electoral commission has been concerned with in getting ready for the federal poll.
The electoral commissioner and his social media team have spent time in videos as well as on social media warning people about the various conspiracy theories that have been propagated across digital platforms such as Twitter as well as messaging applications.
They have also spent time on social media providing advice to people who live overseas on what they should be doing in the lead up to the federal election.