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Get out the vote

Stella Ktenas says it’s too late to apologise, and too late to enrol to vote

Enrol to vote for web
Photo: Teeny!, Flickr.

If you haven’t enrolled to vote then it’s time to find an easy tuition gig so you can pay the $20 fine. August 12 marked the last day to enrol for the September 7 federal election. We had waved hello and goodbye to Monday and to our opportunity to fulfil our legal requirement as Australian citizens. Whether you are a first timer or an experienced donkey voter your vote matters a great deal. The perplexing thing is that it’s estimated only one in two 18-year-olds and two in three 19-year-olds are enrolled to vote. There are 500 000 18-24-year-olds who are not enrolled. Pink shirts have been roaming our campus since O-Week. You all saw them. Don’t pretend you hadn’t seen the multitude of enrolment campaigners. The National Union of Students (Get Out the Vote push for the My Future Our Voice campaign), GetUp (over 600 000 members and created a video ad campaign), the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Triple J (Rock Enrol campaign) all ran campaigns, presenting the major parties prior to the federal election or organising enrolment drives. Perhaps you avoided all these campaigns, and so as you haven’t enrolled, by all means, in for a penny in for a pound, don’t vote. Just make sure you have $20 or a legitimate excuse, as after 21 days of not providing either you will face legal prosecution, a $50 fine, plus court costs. Perhaps performing your civic duty is in your financial interest after all.

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