The proposal has been labelled “racist” and “a solution looking for a problem” amid fears it would disenfranchise voters from Indigenous and multicultural backgrounds, as well as others who may have trouble providing acceptable ID.
Senator Lambie held a poll online to understand public sentiment on the bill ahead of making her decision, which she announced on Wednesday afternoon.
She did not agree the proposal was racist, but thought it was a bad bill that risks making things worse by discouraging voters.
“Do the benefits outweigh the risks? No, no way, not even close,” she told the Senate.
Senator Lambie said two-thirds of respondents to her survey were opposed to the bill, as were the majority of respondents across all states or territories.
“One of the things I value is politicians that care what (the public) thinks,” she said.
“When I do a survey, I am not asking people to decide for me, I am asking if you’re in my shoes how would you vote and why?
“On balance, I do not think the laws do the job.”
With One Nation in favour, it could pass if Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff sides with the government.
Senator Griff wants amendments forcing political messages to include an unsubscribe option to avoid spam from politicians.
The government has said the legislation is designed to prevent voter fraud, and more safeguards are needed to protect against people voting multiple times.
“It’s not an Earth-shattering proposal, that when you go to vote that you should be able to say you are who you are and provide some form of identification to support that. That’s an important protection for our democracy,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in October.
Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers told the Senate last month voter fraud is a “vanishingly small” issue in the country.
There were just 2,102 cases of multiple marks against votes at the last election from around 15 million voters, according to data from the Australian Electoral Commission. Of those, 24 were investigated by police and there were no prosecutions.
With additional reporting by AAP.