More than half of Australians will have their fingerprints scanned when they register to vote in next month’s federal election, according to a survey released on Monday.
Key points:More than 50 per cent of Australians have their fingerprint scanned by the state or territory election departmentAccording to the study, around 60 per cent will have to pay for a fingerprint scannerThe cost of fingerprint attendance systems in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT is estimated to be about $12 millionA study by the Commonwealth Electoral Commission found about 50 per the country’s 50 states and territories have already announced plans to conduct fingerprint scans at the ballot box.
The survey of more than 500 Australians, conducted by Ipsos-Reid for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, found about half would have to make up the difference in cost.
The majority of respondents said they were unsure whether they would be able to afford the cost of the system, and half of those polled said they would have trouble doing so.
More than half said they had no idea how much it would cost and another third were unsure.
The study found about 60 per of the 50 states or territories have introduced fingerprint attendance plans for voting, but the federal Government has said the plan will be expanded to include fingerprint attendance for those who do not register.
In Victoria, a fingerprinting program will cost $12.5 million, while in NSW it will cost around $16.5.
In South Australia it will be $8 million, in Queensland $8.5m, and in WA $12m.
In the ACT, fingerprinting will cost between $12 and $16 million.
In Queensland, fingerprint registration will cost a total of $10 million.
The ABS report found more than 50 percent of those surveyed would have the option of purchasing a fingerprint attendance scanner, but just over half (48.4 per cent) of respondents were not aware that fingerprint attendance was included in the plan.
“We believe it is important for people to be able at least have the knowledge that they can vote,” Commonwealth Electoral Commissioner Mary Quirk said.
“The Commonwealth Electoral Act provides the Commonwealth with the power to collect information about the identity of all eligible voters.”
If individuals have questions about how the information is being collected and how to request access to that information, they can do so by visiting the Electoral Commission’s website at www.actregister.gov.au.
“Ms Quirk has said a fingerprint registration system would be expanded nationwide.”
Our goal is to provide the information as quickly as possible, and as quickly and efficiently as possible.””
We know that there are significant challenges for people accessing the information and the system.”
Our goal is to provide the information as quickly as possible, and as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“As part of this, we will be expanding our fingerprint attendance services in all the states and the territories, and expanding the fingerprint registration process in the ACT and Victoria.”