21/07/2020 | Vickie Chapman MP

Expanded pre-poll voting options, a ban on election corflutes on public roads and optional preferential voting for House of Assembly candidates are reforms being introduced to State Parliament by the Marshall Liberal Government this week.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the proposed reforms were designed to support the democratic process, give voters greater choice and bring South Australia’s election laws up to speed with voter’s needs.

“The fact is, in this day and age, corflutes on public roads serve very little purpose,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

“They’re costly, detrimental to the environment and public safety and do little to educate voters about a candidate or their platform.

“By establishing optional preferential voting in the Lower House, we are providing transparency through the voting process, stopping backdoor deals and letting voters clearly choose the party they want to support.

“It simplifies the process for voters, while allowing voters to clearly understand where their vote – and their preferences – are going.

“I stress this is optional, and voters will still be able to allocate their preferences more comprehensively, should they choose to do so.”

Attorney-General Chapman said recommendations from the Electoral Commission that the Government has adopted include providing more online options to both voters and candidates, along with increased opportunities for pre-poll voting.

“This Bill will extend the powers of the Electoral Commission, so they have the authority to establish pre-poll voting booths at any location they deem appropriate, and also removes the eligibility criteria that pre-poll voters have previously been required to meet to get more people voting at times convenient to them,” Ms Chapman said.

“In addition, people wishing to cast their vote by mail will be able to apply for a ballot online, election information and public notices will be published on the Internet, rather than a newspaper, and candidates will be able to lodge their candidate information and how to vote cards online.

“These changes will help modernise our electoral laws as we move closer to the 2022 election.”