THE owners and occupiers roll for the Perth council election is far slimmer this year.
Following the inquiry into the City of Perth finding evidence of bogus voters, there was increased scrutiny of the roll and it’s now 700 shorter than at the last election. Given some candidates get over the line by just a handful of votes, that equates to a significant chunk.
In July the council announced business owners or non-resident occupiers wanting a vote would have to prove they’re eligible by showing a lease or other documentation. The Local Government Act empowers council staff to check this, but didn’t require them too, so it wasn’t previously done.
Last week the City of Perth also confirmed that those who’d applied to vote since the last election would also have their claim retrospectively scrutinised.
They didn’t tell us how many people had been rejected, and it’s likely some voters were too shy to reapply amid the controversy surrounding the roll, but we now know that the owner and occupier roll contains just 2,603 voters compared to the 3,322 from the last election.
Resident voters aren’t affected, as they’re automatically added from the state electoral roll.
The change might mean residents’ voices will outweigh the usually-dominant business vote.
Last year’s election got 5,427 votes, and while there’s no breakdown of resident to non-resident votes, it’s likely businesses who’d gone to the trouble of applying would go on to vote compared to residents who were on the roll by default.