Today Abigail questioned the Disability Minister about iVote being scrapped, and asked what the Government is doing to ensure blind and low vision voters can vote in the next State election.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (16:29):
My question is directed to the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services. Earlier this month the NSW Electoral Commission announced that people voting in any elections between now and the 2023 State election inclusive will not be able to access the iVote online voting system, leaving blind and low-vision voters without a way to cast an anonymous, independent and verifiable vote. What is the Minister doing to ensure that blind and low-vision community members have a suitable alternative voting method that maintains the right to anonymous and independent voting?
The Hon. NATASHA MACLAREN-JONES (Minister for Families and Communities, and Minister for Disability Services) (16:29): I thank the honourable member for her question. First and foremost, as I have said before, I will always advocate for people with disability in New South Wales. iVote is a matter for the NSW Electoral Commission and any matters regarding that should be referred directly to the commissioner.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (16:30): I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for her answer. If she could elucidate how referring to the Electoral Commissioner answers the question in relation to what she personally is doing to advocate for people with disability to vote independently and anonymously?
The Hon. Scott Farlow: Point of order: The supplementary question should be ruled out of order as it does not seek an elucidation of the Minister's original answer to the question.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: To the point of order: The question absolutely seeks an elucidation. The Hon. Abigail Boyd did not use the word "elucidate", but did ask the Minister to expand on her very brief answer in relation to what she is doing for blind and vision-impaired citizens and the iVote.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Abigail Boyd did seek an elucidation without saying the word "elucidate". I will allow the supplementary question. The Minister has the call.
The Hon. NATASHA MACLAREN-JONES (Minister for Families and Communities, and Minister for Disability Services) (16:31): As I said before, decisions by the NSW Electoral Commission in relation to iVote and how people participate in voting is a matter for the commissioner.
The Hon. PETER PRIMROSE (16:31): I ask a second supplementary question. As the iVoting legislation was introduced in both Houses by the then Minister for Disability Services, will the Minister elucidate as to what action she is going to take and what discussions she has had with the NSW Electoral Commission in relation to the commissioner's decision?
The Hon. Bronnie Taylor: Point of order: That was a new question.
The PRESIDENT: The supplementary question was in order. The Minister has the call.
The Hon. NATASHA MACLAREN-JONES (Minister for Families and Communities, and Minister for Disability Services) (16:32): I refer to my previous answer that these are matters for the NSW Electoral Commission.
For the full transcript, see here.