Western Australians need to check that they are eligible to vote in the coming Federal and State elections, Electoral Reform Minister Geoff Gallop said today.
"In preparation for the coming elections, the Electoral Commission is following up its State-wide survey of households and of people who did not vote in this year's daylight-saving referendum," Dr Gallop said.
"The names of thousands of other people around WA may be removed from the electoral rolls as a result of the Commission receiving complaints from the Liberal Party that much of its mailed material was being returned.
"The Liberals seem to ask themselves: `How can we get these people off the rolls?'
"Perhaps the question they should be asking themselves is: `How can we help these people to become correctly enrolled?'
"The Liberals' crude methods of addressing this issue were tried before the last election and show that they still have the same old negative methods.
"This hardly represents a commitment to broad democratic principles."
Dr Gallop said the Liberals did not understood three factors.
Firstly, the number of irate voters who had not changed address at all, but who chose to return unopened Liberal letters to the sender.
Secondly, that the Electoral Commission had already checked nearly every household in WA.
Thirdly, there are no deliveries to street addresses in many country and remote areas, so mail sent to addresses shown in electoral rolls could sometimes not be delivered.
"I understand that some 50,000 names might be taken off electoral rolls.
"People need to make sure that they are registered at their current address," Mr Gallop said.
"There are two elections due next year, and if people want to make sure their vote counts, it is best to be registered well before the respective election days."