Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My friend in Japan can't vote

Some of you may have hard of the collapse of Nova. It is an educational organisation dedicated to teaching English in Japan. It has gone broke. Most of the employees were Australian and have been left high and dry by the company.

I am not sure if she is incredibly smart or incredibly lucky, but our friend from Melbourne bailed out of Nova in Japan a wee while ago and now works for a more local private organisation.

I think she has been in the north of Japan for nearly five years now and is not showing any definite signs of moving on. She has made a life for herself there, a combination of local life and people and some connections with foreigners like herself. We are quite proud of her.

As it less than five years that she has been out of the country, she should be able to vote in our forthcoming election and she wished to, as she has in the past.

But no, she has been removed from the roll. In spite of the embassy knowing exactly where she is, everything done properly, when she asked why she couldn't vote she was told that the electoral commission had written to her and did not receive a response, and so removed her from the roll. They wrote to her at her old Australian address where she lived nearly five years ago. It is not that even they did not know her current address as she has voted before from Japan in Australian elections.

I just hope the AEC is more competent when conducting our Federal Election. Perhaps there are good reasons why scrutineers are needed at vote counting.


  1. Anonymous2:33 pm

    As of November 6, I've been here four years. Time flies, hey? I did argue with the AEC about not being able to vote, but alas, they wouldn't budge...

  2. I view deprivation of someone's right to vote very seriously Vik. I would probably guess that your vote would not have been a casting one though. But that is beside the point.

  3. She can argue the fact and demand a "section vote", if she believes that she was taken off the roll wrongly, claim a "section vote" and continue the argument with the AEC. This is not widely publicised as it is messy for the AEC.

    Anyone can demand a "section vote"

  4. Anonymous1:02 am

    what's a section vote? Vik.

  5. Thanks Ann.

    Good question Vik. I will see what I can find out.

  6. That is very wrong. The right to vote is pivotal in a democracy - it is a RIGHT, not a priviledge. As such, she should be able to have her say.

  7. Anonymous4:22 pm

    I think it is alarming that the government have gone to such incredulous lengths to reduce voter turnouts. Is sounds like an obscurantist decoy for something more sinister - something corrupt...perhaps.

  8. I hate voting cos I dun believe in ANY politician.


  9. Bureaucratic incompetence Rosanna.

    I like a good conspiracy theory Sueglossy, but I don't think it more than the obvious. Close the rolls early and chop off a few young voters.

    Aw Keshi, so cynical. Potential politicians are usually ok. But once elected....