Record increase in estimated Indigenous enrolment ahead of Referendum

Updated: 7 February 2023

Updated AEC estimates show that an additional 21,000 Indigenous Australians have enrolled to vote between the end of June 2022 to the end December 2022, bringing the national estimated Indigenous enrolment rate up to 84.5% (up 2.8%).

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said that the rapid rise easily represents the largest increase since estimates were first calculated in this manner by the AEC in 2017.

“It’s brilliant - more people are enrolled and ready to vote, which is an unvarnished good news story for electoral participation in Australia and closing the enrolment gap, but we know more needs to be done” Mr Rogers.  

“We continue to work really hard in getting as many people to enrol as possible, with a particular focus on young Australians and Indigenous Australians who aren’t enrolled at as high a rate as others.”

“I constantly hear from international counterparts who marvel at Australia’s 97 per cent overall enrolment rate, but I want enrolment to be that high, and higher, for all Australians.”

National Indigenous enrolment growth

The AEC’s recent direct enrolment trials are proving successful. Remote engagement work through AEC staff and 80+ community partners is having an impact and recent Indigenous enrolment communication campaigns are helping to achieve the continued enrolment rise as well.

“It’s just so pleasing to see the rise in estimated Indigenous enrolment being recorded in every state and territory consistently, and with more significant increases in the past six months,” Mr Rogers said.

Estimated Indigenous Enrolment Rate

“What this means is more people are ready to vote when they turn up to a polling place during an election or Referendum, or when an AEC remote voting team comes to visit.”

“The estimated number of ‘unenrolled’ Indigenous Australians has gone under 100,000 for the first time – to just under 87,000 – and that is significant.”

Decline in unenrolled Indigenous Australians

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