You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Put sausages on election menu: think tank

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016

Fines for avoiding the ballot box should more than triple and the electoral commission should do more to encourage voting by promoting the popular election day sausage sizzle.

The ideas are part of a submission from think tank The Australia Institute to a parliamentary inquiry into the July 2 federal election.

The institute is worried that while Australia has a very high electoral participation rate by global standards, it's been declining over recent years.

Turnout was 91 per cent at the recent election - the lowest since compulsory voting was introduced in 1924.

"Ensuring that everyone's vote is counted is consistent with our ethos that everyone gets a 'fair go'," the submission says.

It proposes a three-fold approach:

* Increasing the fine for not voting from $20 to $70, in line with the increase in average wages since the fine was set in 1984;

* Better promote voting as part of Australian tradition and culture; and

* Set a 95/95/95 goal of boosting enrolment, turnout and valid votes.

The Australia Institute suggests the electoral commission could increase people's enthusiasm for voting by jumping on board the popular #democracysausage social media phenomenon.

It says the Australian Electoral Commission could put out guides on how to cook the perfect sausage and ensure valid votes, or run #democracysausage awards to promote the fun side of voting.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon