on air now

Early voting: Ross and John debate the ‘changing face of democracy’

For whom was early voting introduced?

Ross and John say it undermines the political process, and suggested democracy was undermined simply to make life easier for the Australian Electoral Commission.

Professor Ian McAllister, from Australian National University, disagreed.

“No I think it’s more about making lives easier for voters, actually,” he responded.

“We’ve asked in our surveys what people really want in terms of making voting as easy as possible, and one of the things they’ve said in our surveys is that they want to be able to vote over a much longer period,” he said.

“What we’ve seen over the past 20 to 30 years is people’s lives are quite complicated, they have family and work responsibilities on polling day, so what they’ve been asking for is to vote any time during an election campaign.”

But what if a major, game-changing development comes out on May 17?

“That’s certainly a problem and certainly could be the case,” he conceded.

“I think what’s behind your question is whether this is changing the face of democracy, and to some extent it is.”

Click PLAY to hear the full chat with Professor McAllister