Like many HSC graduates, Dubbo’s Swazi Sharma will be eligible to vote for the first time in 2019 and she is keen not to waste the opportunity.
The Australian Electoral Commission has made it easy to enrol and Miss Sharma said she is excited about “making a difference” at the upcoming State and Federal elections.
“I’ll turn 18 at the beginning of March and I will enrol to vote on as soon as I can,” she said.
“Voting is a privilege and it should not be wasted. I think it’s a way of having a say in the way our country is run and deciding the future of the country and I reckon it is imperative for young people to vote.”
Miss Sharma said she has not decided who to vote for yet.
“I am still deciding who I will vote for, so I will be looking at what the major parties policies are on young people, the party that has the best youth, education and immigration policies will get my vote,” she said.
“For the federal election, immigration issues are important to me, because I am an immigrant, so that will sway my vote.
“In the state election education is a big concern of mine. That is a State and Federal issue I think. We are disadvantaged here in Dubbo; we don't get things that the city schools get. More money should be spent on rural education; I am sure it would be more beneficial for the entire country to have people in rural areas like Dubbo given the same opportunities for education that city kids do. Also, because I live in a rural community, I’ll also look at rural policy.
“I think in terms of voting, young people don’t know a lot about it; I think a bit more education on how to enrol and what it means to vote should be available to young people. If young people are engaged, they will take notice.”
If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 years or more, you are required to enrol and vote in Federal, State and Local government elections and by-elections. If you do not vote, you may receive a penalty notice.
Enrol to vote online at the Australian Electoral Commission website (https://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/)
- Download an enrolment form from the Australian Electoral Commission website to print and complete.
- Pick up a form and a pre-paid envelope from your local post office or an Australian Electoral Commission office. The form can be returned by post, fax, scan and upload.
- The Australian Electoral Commission will send you an acknowledgment advice when they have completed your enrolment. It will include details of your name as it appears on the roll, your federal electoral division, and your State electoral district.
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