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Youth electoral study sends warning on voluntary voting.

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Media Release

ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Special Minister of State 14 October 2005 YOUTH ELECTORAL STUDY SENDS WARNING ON VOLUNTARY VOTING The Australian Electoral Commission’s Youth Electoral Study, released yesterday, sends a big warning on the dangers of voluntary voting. Almost 5,000 senior secondary students across Australia were asked two key questions which measure voting intention. • Question 1: Do you intend to vote in Federal elections after you reach 18? • Question 2: Would you vote in a Federal election if you did not have to? While 87% answered “yes” to question one, less than 50% said the same for question two. That’s 37% who said they wouldn’t vote if voting was voluntary. If more than a third of young voters chose not to vote it would be bad news for Australian democracy. It’s clear from the survey that many young people already feel alienated from our political system. Voluntary voting would just make it worse. Despite the Prime Minister’s assertions that voluntary voting is off the agenda, this report shows that the continued push by Minister Minchin and other Liberal MP’s for its introduction will undermine our democracy. Media contact: Chris Reilly 0417 122 343 Note: The study involves a longitudinal survey of almost 5,000 senior secondary students over 150 schools across Australia and group interviews in 16 electorates.