Family First senator Bob Day will launch a High Court challenge against the new Senate voting laws on Monday.
The new laws, which make it more difficult for micro-parties to be elected, passed both houses on Friday following an all-night debate which lasted more than 28 hours.
The changes by the government will mean that parties will no longer be able to preference each other when voters mark a “1” above the line on their ballot paper.
The loophole previously allowed for the election of micro-parties using preference swaps such as Victorian senator Ricky Muir’s Motoring Enthusiasts Party, who entered the Senate with 0.51% of the vote.
Voters will also be given the choice to number six boxes above the line.
“Australians will determine where their preferences go,” said prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“They’ll determine who their senators are going to be rather than backroom deals and elaborate preference allocation deals between hosts of micro parties established for the sole purpose of that kind of gaming.”
But Day is expected to take the reforms to the High Court on Monday arguing they would bring about a disenfranchisement of millions of voters in Australia.
“The academic argument is that these laws are in breach of section seven of the Constitution in that they do not provide for the direct choosing of senators by the people, but rather they provide for the direct choosing of parties,” Day told AAP.
Here’s what Day said on Twitter:
NSW Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm, who raised similar arguments on Friday, supported the move announcing on Twitter yesterday that the Liberal Democrats would agree to share the costs of the High Court challenge to “undemocratic Senate electoral laws” with Family First Australia.
“How the High Court will view the potential loss of three million votes is something I’m keen to find out,” said Day.
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