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  • Voting online? Don’t count on it

    Posted 25/11/2014 by Philip Hamilton

    In the 2013 Federal Election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) lost 1,370 ballot papers. Subsequent inquiries examined the selection of polling locations, the transport and storage of completed ballot papers, and the recruitment and training of temporary staff in short timeframes.

    The logistics are challenging, but are they necessary? We already do our banking and shopping online – why not voting?

    Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Electoral Commission, election results, elections, voting, disability

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  • Still room for improvement at the Australian Electoral Commission

    Posted 24/11/2014 by Philip Hamilton

    The Federal Election of 7 September 2013 was notable in a number of respects, not least because the loss by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) of 1,370 ballot papers resulted in a new election for WA Senators being held on 5 April 2014.

    In the wake of the loss of ballot papers, the Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, committed to conducting three performance audits of the AEC, the first of which was tabled in May 2014. The second follow-up audit was tabled on 5 November 2014, with a finding that the AEC had not adequately addressed the recommendations of an audit in 2009–10.

    Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Electoral Commission, election results, elections, voting

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  • Resignations, retirements and by-elections...and more to come

    Posted 3/11/2014 by Joy McCann
    Resignations and retirements have resulted in a spate of by-elections in state and territory parliaments this year, including two each in NSW (Newcastle and Charlestown), Queensland (Redcliffe and Stafford) and the Northern Territory (Blain and Casuarina), and one in Western Australia (Vasse). Another two by-elections are to be held shortly in South Australia as a result of the death of one MP and the resignation of another (in the electorate of Fisher on 6 December 2014 and Davenport at a date ... Read more...

    TAGS: by-elections, state and territories, parliament

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  • ACT Assembly to increase in size

    Posted 7/08/2014 by Brenton Holmes

    With bipartisan support, the ACT Assembly has passed two bills to increase representation of ACT citizens and enhance democracy in the Territory. The number of electorates will increase from three to five, with five members per electorate—a 5X5 model.

    Greens’ MLA Shane Rattenbury, said that the model ‘locks in the two old parties and makes it harder for smaller parties and independents to gain representation. I support a bigger Assembly - but one that encourages diversity and broader community representation, not one where democracy loses out’.

    Read more...

    TAGS: elections, ACT Assembly

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  • Are the good burghers of Griffith poised to make history? – House of Representatives by-elections 1901–2014

    Posted 22/01/2014 by Toby Bellwood
    The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the candidates who have nominated to fill the vacancy caused by Kevin Rudd's resignation. Early voting has begun so it’s a good time to review some of the history of by-elections for the House of Representatives. The Griffith by-election is due to be held on 8 February 2014, 1526 days since the previous by-election, a period exceeded only by Balaclava (Vic) and Macquarie (NSW) in 1951 (1946 days) and Fremantle (WA) in 1945 (1547 days)... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Electoral Commission, by-election, federal election 2013

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  • The disputed 2013 WA Senate election

    Posted 20/11/2013 by Rob Lundie
    The initial count of the Senate vote in Western Australia gave the last two Senate seats to Palmer United Party (PUP) candidate Zhenya Dio Wang and ALP candidate, sitting senator Louise Pratt. However, the closeness of the result (14 votes separated two minor parties at an important point in the count) was challenged by defeated candidates sitting senator Scott Ludlam (Australian Greens ) and Wayne Dropulich (Australian Sports Party). As a result on 2 October, the Australian Electoral Commission... Read more...

    TAGS: election results, Senate

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  • Zippers: former prime ministers leaving parliament

    Posted 14/11/2013 by Janet Wilson
    Of Australia’s 28 Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd has become only the fourth former prime minister to have lost an election or the leadership of his party and resigned from parliament shortly afterwards, bringing about a by-election.Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister from the dismissal of the Whitlam Government on 11 November 1975 until the ALP’s victory at the March 1983 election. On election night Mr Fraser stood down as leader of the Liberal Party and resigned from Parliament on 31 March 1983, 26 ... Read more...

    TAGS: by-election, Parliament, prime ministers

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  • Time period between election date and first sitting date

    Posted 18/10/2013 by Sophia Fernandes
    It is up to the government to decide when parliamentary sittings will commence following an election, provided that the first sitting day is no later than 30 days from the date of the return of the writs. The election timetable is governed by the Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. According to the timetable, the date of the return of the writs for the election is to be no longer than 100 days after it is issued, which is within 10 days after the election is announced. The 2013... Read more...

    TAGS: election timetable, federal election 2013, Parliament, sitting days

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  • A close-run thing: the narrowest of margins [UPDATED]

    Posted 2/10/2013 by Toby Bellwood
    The Australian Electoral Commission has announced that the electorate of Fairfax will proceed to a formal recount in the 2013 federal election. Clive Palmer (Palmer United Party) leads with a margin of seven votes following the full distribution of preferences. Just how unusual is this outcome, and how many other close results have there been in Australian electoral history?The closest recent result was in the Victorian seat of McEwen in the 2007 federal election, where the full recount altered ... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Electoral Commission, election results, federal election 2013

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  • Electing the party leader

    Posted 1/10/2013 by Deirdre McKeown
    On 8 July 2013, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced proposed changes to the way in which the Australian Labor Party elects its leader. The changes included votes by the party membership and votes by the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (FPLP), weighted at 50% each, and processes for when and how a leader can be challenged and the amount of Caucus support needed to mount a challenge to the leader. The special meeting of Caucus on 22 July 2013 endorsed the proposals but agreed that a petiti... Read more...

    TAGS: ALP, elections, leadership, political parties

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