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Country Liberals senator Sam McMahon could cross the floor against government’s proposed voter ID laws

Northern Territory Country Liberal Party (CLP) senator says she is considering crossing the floor to vote against the federal government’s proposed voter ID .Key points:Sam McMahon says she’s concerned the laws could worsen already low voter turnout in the bushShe says her vote will hinge on discussions with the government, which wants the laws passed this sessionVoter turnout reached record lows at last year’s Territory electionThe changes were first flagged by the government late last month and, if passed, would require voters to prove their identity before casting their ballot at national .Both the federal opposition and  land councils have slammed the bill as racist and harmful to , arguing it would unfairly disadvantage remote and voters who don’t have easy access to ID.The government says the laws will add confidence to the electoral system, but Ms McMahon says she is considering breaking ranks. Speaking to NITV outside Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, the CLP senator said she would raise concerns about the bill with her colleagues.”I’ve got concerns about how they’re going to impact, particularly Indigenous Territorians,” she said.”I think there’s very little, if any, evidence of voter fraud in the Northern Territory.”I’m thinking that it is possible that I might not be able to vote for them but, like I said, that’ll hinge on discussions that I have with my colleagues.”Pre-selected CLP candidate Jacinta Price, who the the party picked ahead of Senator McMahon to run in the next , has previously said she supports the proposed changes.Laws could keep voters away, senator says The (AEC) has called multiple “a very small problem” and largely related to mental health issues, confusion or language barriers when it has occurred.It estimates that, during the 2019 election, the rate of multiple voting was 0.03 per cent. No instances of fraud were prosecuted.In an interview with the ABC, Senator McMahon said she was more worried about the timing of the bill being rushed in the lead-up to a federal election rather than the legislation itself, which she said was “quite fine”. How secure is your vote?Ahead of the 2019 election, the ABC looked at a number of questions on how secure votes would be on election day.Read moreThe proposed laws stipulate that proof of ID does not have to be either a driver’s licence or passport. It could also include bills, bank cards or an enrolment letter from the AEC.However, the government says, people who cannot produce ID through those means will not be turned away, and that those voters can request someone else who does have ID to fill out a form verifying their identity.A voter can also submit a “declaration vote”, which is then later checked against the electoral role.Senator McMahon said that, although the bill would not prevent people from voting, she was “concerned that people, particularly in the bush, are going to perceive it anyway as being an attempt to stop them from voting”.”We already know we have very low voter turnout in the bush, in the Northern Territory, and I’m just concerned about anything that’s going to be a further impediment to people turning up to the polling booth,” she said.”Or, if they turn up to the polling booth and someone says, ‘You need to have ID’, there’ll definitely be an inclination for people to go, ‘Oh OK, I’ll go home and get it’, and never come back again.”Voter turnout reached record lows in parts of the NT at last year’s Territory election.The Northern Territory Electoral Commissioner said the issue had gone unaddressed for decades and meant Indigenous Territorians in remote areas were “not having an equal say”.