On Thursday night, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced a change to the National Register of Registration and Elections, allowing Tasmanians to register to vote using a number of new registries.
The AEC is considering a number options for the National List, including one for all Tasmanians who hold a Tasmanian or Commonwealth citizenship.
The National List is a database of all Tasmanian and Commonwealth registered voters that includes all electoral register information.
It was created to improve the quality of electoral registration, but also to facilitate the registration of people who are ineligible to vote in Tasmania.
Currently, all Tasmanies can register to cast a vote on a given day by registering using the Commonwealth or Tasmanian National Register, which is not available to non-Tasmanians.
The Tasmanian Electoral Commission says it will update the National list of registered voters every three months, and that any changes will take effect by February 2019.
The decision to create a new register will give Tasmanians the opportunity to register and vote, and will reduce the amount of time it takes for Tasmanians not registered to register.
The changes are also aimed at helping people who have already voted to register for the 2019 Tasmanian election.
“This is a critical step towards ensuring that Tasmanians have the opportunity and power to participate in the democratic process,” AEC secretary-general Andrew Wilkie said.
The new register is expected to become available by the end of March 2019.
“Tasmania is in a period of transition and the AEC will be ensuring the system is ready for this transition,” Wilkie told ABC NewsRadio’s AM.
“We are taking this opportunity to ensure that the Tasmanian voter is aware of their right to vote and is able to participate.”
In a statement, the Tasmanians for Democracy group says the change to registerability will help ensure that all Tasmanias voters have the same opportunity to vote.”TAS voters have been voting since they were born, so registering and voting is vital to ensure they can have an informed voice in government,” a spokesperson said.
“In order to ensure every Tasmanian has the same right to participate and to have their voice heard, we have created a new national register that will enable voters to register on the same day, as well as at their convenience.”