UPDATED: Australians rushing to vote cause a backlog of requests

Enrol to vote by 8pm, Monday, July 16, or miss out

Australians rushing to enrol in time for the Federal Election are causing a backlog, ARN has been told.

According to a source at the Australian Electoral Commission, the typical time for enrolling to vote or changing an address is around 48 hours. But a large influx of applications had caused a stretch in the response time for some potential voters.

A spokesperson for the AEC said while they had heard anecdotal evidence that there had recently been an increase in applications, they could not confirm there was a backlog.

“I don’t have up to date data,” they said. “It’s fair to say you would expect that with media coverage and election speculation there would be a lift in traffic to our website, to calls and enrolments.”

While the spokesperson was keen to reassure people who had submitted applications they would be processed in time for the election, he added the AEC would need to have received a completed form by 8pm on the day the election was called by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The deadline to enrol to vote is 8pm today and the deadline to update your electoral roll details is 8pm, Thursday, July 22.

Fortunately, potential voters are able to fax their completed forms or hand them in at their nearest AEC branch office.

Although legislation to allow voters to change their address online has been approved, the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, has yet to give it Royal Assent – the rubber stamping that makes the bills law.