Is e-voting Australia’s future? At least that is what Australian politicians are apparently rooting for in future Australia elections.
Both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have now expressed their support for electronic voting. While Shorten backed it as the future of Australia in his concession speech, Turnbull wants to extend regulations for authorizing political text messages, ads and automated calls.
Turnbull gave the message in his victory speech. Australia had to wait for eight days for the election results to come in. That can become a thing of the past, if e-voting becomes Australia’s future.
Turnbull said electronic voting had been a passion for him for a long time. He said the New South Wales Electoral Commission was more open than the Australian Electoral Commission about the issue.
He talked about the difference between political ads on print or on television and robocalls. He said robocalls could be made without the need of authorization. He called it a “legal vacuum” that allowed such things to happen.
The Australian PM criticized robocalls which, according to him, bothered people at night as well.
“We can’t afford to have our nation drift for eight days after an election,” Shorten said.
“In the 21st century, we’re a leading democracy, we should be able to find out who won and who lost in a quicker time than we’ve seen.”
Shorten said in his concession speech that he would approach the prime minister and offer bipartisan cooperation for e-voting. According to him, it has been “long overdue” and there should now be focus on electronic voting.
According to Shorten, the electoral process needs to be faster. However, he appreciated the professionalism shown by the Australian Electoral Commission.
According to the AEC, e-voting may lack transparency in the electoral system. It believes the electronic way may bear the risk of hacking. According to The Guardian, the AEC has been skeptical about the lack of paper work involved in the electronic way of voting.
Australia elections may see different days, if e-voting is implemented in near future. It is rare for Turnbull and Shorten to agree on something. Now that they are in agreement this time, they may have the AEC to fight against to achieve their common goal.