Non-resident voters


This is the full text of my responses to questions asked by Kate Korte for her excellent article in Capital Daily.

In your opinion, does allowing non-resident property electors make Victoria’s municipal elections more or less democratic?

  • I am aware of the arguments on both sides of allowing non-resident property electors. However, the practice of allowing property owners to vote in multiple jurisdictions seems to conflict with the democratic principle of one-person, one-vote. “When a person lives in one jurisdiction and owns property in one or more other jurisdictions, they may vote once in each of the other jurisdictions where they own property.” Most of the time, this won’t affect an election, but if we have a close vote, it could determine who is elected.

Did the category of non-resident property electors influence your campaign or platform strategy? If so, how?

  • No. I assume the numbers are small.

How do you think non-resident property electors might influence the election as a whole, if at all? 

  • I assume the numbers are small, but again there could be a close vote in an election, and the result could come down to people who vote in multiple jurisdictions.

Do you have any other general thoughts or feelings about this aspect of the municipal election? Any additional comments not covered by the questions above? 

  • Not at the moment, but your asking these questions will make me think about it more.

People that are serving a sentence cannot vote in the municipal election. Although my focus is on non-resident property electors for this article, I’ll note this for context. Do you have any thoughts on this aspect?

  • I’m focussed on Victoria, and there aren’t any correctional facilities in the City, but I was surprised to see this as I knew people serving sentences can vote in federal elections. I’m curious as to whether the different treatment is justified.