Minors e-vote in faux federal election

Leaflets promoting electoral enrolment will hit every high school in the country as part of Google’s mock federal election for under 18s, launched today.

The mass mail-out will promote Google’s upcoming Student Voice online simulated election, and calls on students aged over 17 to enrol to vote.

The virtual election will consist of political parties contesting the Federal election on 21 August, and is designed on integrity standards used by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Votes will be collected from students aged 15 to 17 between 9 - 12 August, and compared to real Federal Election tallies.

Students will be provided with educational material on Australian politics, democratic processes, and the policies of each election contestor.

Liberal MP, Paul Fletcher, and Labor ACT Senator, Kate Lundy, played down the possibility of lowering the voting age at the project launch in Sydney today.

"18 is a good age," Fletcher said.

Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, reiterated party policy that the voting age should be lowered to 16.

Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, speaking via a video address to students detailed the importance of voting to a healthy democracy.

Greens leader, Bob Brown, warned student-listeners of issues including climate change and the financial waste of military defence, noting that voters must choose between “democracy or guns”.

Google is also running a Federal election cartoon competition for students as part of the project.

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