A number of Aborigines may be enrolled to vote but a significant portion them do not

The upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament for Aborigines, which officially make up just three per cent of the Australian population, has turned into a vicious mudslinging contest between the Yes and No camps.

‘Yes’ Activist Noel Pearson
‘No’ campaigner Warren Mundine

Leading Yes campaigner, multi-millionaire Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson and fellow-agitator Marcia Langton have criticised prominent No advocate Warren Mundine for pushing against the divisive Voice.

Theatrics aside, the result will ultimately be decided by the Australian Electoral Commission whose bona fides have long been questioned by voting analysts.

The AEC has released the latest data for the electoral roll which include a questionable large number of new enrollments.

AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers worked for Defence contractor Raytheon before taking on his present job

AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers refuses to answer any queries from Cairns News about false entries, instead maintaining the roll is clean. Rogers refuses to respond to the fudged result in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite which saw 248,000 letters returned to the Australian Bureau of Statistics marked “addressee unknown”. The addressee details were not passed onto the AEC, instead the ABS shredded the envelopes.

The AEC roll was used by the ABS in their mail-out across the country. Added to this anomaly is a carry over of at least another 400,000 bogus entries discovered by Senator Len Harris’ office in 2005, acknowledged at the time by the Electoral Commissioner. Cairns News researchers have not seen any reports in the past 20 years of bogus entries being removed from the roll.

The latest data from the AEC reveals roll “padding” with extraordinary numbers in a relatively short period of time.

In other words the roll numbers are up nearly 20 per cent for Aboriginal voters since 2017, with year on year increases. Total indigenous roll numbers presently are 94.1 per cent of the indigenous population, a questionable statistic as the AEC has no way of calculating the total of the entire, genuine indigenous population.

There are tens of thousands of white Australians ticking the box claiming to be black whose numbers have greatly inflated the actual number of Aborigines. The AEC media site claims the indigenous enrollment is above 90% for the first time ever.

It is up from 84.5% since the end of 2022.

More than 60,000 indigenous Australians enrolled since the end of 2022. It is now 94.1 per cent up from 74.7 per cent since 2017, with year-on-year growth. Every state and territory has improved significantly with indigenous enrollments.

The national non-indigenous enrollment rate at 97.5%. is up from 97.1% since the end of 2022. Continual yearly increases – up from 89.7% in 2010. Mr Rogers said the 2023 referendum will have the best base for democratic participation than any federal electoral event in Australia’s history.

National non-indigenous enrollments increased by 0.4 per cent since December 2022 yet the indigenous numbers increased by nearly 9.6 per cent for the same period.

Suzanne Ingram, a board member of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, complained on SBS last year that 300,000 of the 810,000 persons now claiming to be Aborigines were fake.

Voting fraud expert Lex Stewart has looked at the AEC data and formed the opinion that there could not be such a large natural increase in enrollments over such a short period, “particularly in indigenous communities,” he stressed.

He said the tyranny of distance and the remoteness of many far-flung Aboriginal communities could not produce the unprecedented 60,000 enrollments over six months.

An AEC spokesman told ABC Radio on Monday there had been teams of electoral officers on the ground visiting remote communities to enrol Aborigines.

“If the AEC is as successful as it claims, why haven’t these large numbers of new enrollments been achieved prior to previous elections?” Mr Stewart asked.

Submission 1492 of 22/11/2022 to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters by the Mayor of the West Arnhem Regional Council alleges that the AEC’s electoral roll has become so bad that there is a “gerrymander, whereby the franchise for Aboriginal residents of remote communities is suppressed or inhibited.”

A complaint by the Northern Territory Electoral Commissioner about the AEC’s neglect of the Electoral Roll in remote Aboriginal communities gives a more accurate description of the state of the roll.

Commissioner Iain Loganathan warned of a great divide between urban and remote voters where turnouts in outback seats dwindles to about 50 per cent.

Mr Loganathan criticised the AEC for mismanagement of the roll. Most remote NT residents vote ahead of election day through mobile polling teams.

“People living in urban areas have their enrollment details updated automatically – but that system does not operate in areas where there is no postal delivery to the street address,” Mr Loganathan said.

“This has led to a decline in roll accuracy in remote communities making it difficult to measure actual participation.

“What we do know is that many Aboriginal Territorians are not on the electoral roll and many of those who are don’t vote.”

It should be noted that Queensland Aboriginal communities have a similar problem, especially those on Cape York Peninsula and in the Torres Strait.

At the 2016 poll in each of the Territory’s seven vast bush seats more people didn’t vote than cast a ballot for the winning candidate. In 20 out of 25 electorates the numbers of ‘ghost voters’ – people who didn’t vote or voted informally – exceeded the winner’s margin.

This disengagement has meant in past elections that members of the ALP, GetUp and unions have been able to vote in the names of these people, and it is felt that this will happen again in the Voice referendum, where widespread fraud, as occurred in the Same Sex Marriage referendum, is expected to occur.

Mr Loganathan said the underlying issues were “systematic.”

AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers told a parliamentary inquiry that: “We have had experience of going into some indigenous communities and they’ve simply said: “We are not enrolling, we are disengaged from Australian society and it doesn’t matter how many visits you do, we will not enrol.”

How then did the Northern Territory enrollment rate get to 92 per cent today, as claimed by the AEC?

Tom Rogers biography: https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/tom-rogers