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  • (Almost) everything you need to know about double dissolution elections

    Posted 29/04/2016 by Damon Muller
    Parliament House in Canberra
     Following the Senate’s rejection of the Building and Construction Industry bills on 18 April 2016, the Prime Minister announced on 19 April that he intended to advise the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of Parliament under powers provided by section 57 of the Australian Constitution, thus precipitating the first double dissolution election in 29 years (the last double dissolution election was in July 1987). The Prime Minister said that he expects the election to be held on 2 July 2016. Read more...

    TAGS: elections, election timetable, constitution, Senate, voting

  • The Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - optional preferential voting below the line in the Senate

    Posted 15/03/2016 by Damon Muller
    Senate chamber

    Further to the current Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 that seeks to reform above the line voting for the Senate by introducing optional preferential voting, the Government has recently proposed amendments which would implement optional preferential voting below the line, with voters being asked to allocate at least 12 preferences. The details of these amendments and what they would mean for voters are discussed in this Flagpost. The Parliamentary Library has prepared a Bills Digest on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 as introduced.

    Read more...

    TAGS: elections, electoral reform, voting

  • Recent Senate electoral reform proposals

    Posted 8/02/2016 by Damon Muller

    Reform of the Senate electoral system is once again in the news, with reports that the Government wants to pass legislation enabling reform before the budget sitting (that is, effectively by 17 March). Other reports are suggesting that the Australian Greens will produce their own Senate voting reform legislation.

    Unlike other recent discussions about Senate electoral system reform, the approaches currently being discussed do not follow the May 2014 recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM), which were outlined in a previous Flagpost.

    This Flagpost examines some of these new proposals with a particular focus on what constitutes a valid vote.

    Read more...

    TAGS: elections, Electoral reform, voting, Senate

  • iVote, therefore I am

    Posted 16/03/2015 by Damon Muller

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis popularised the idea of the states being the ’laboratories of democracy‘, which seems like a good way to describe the moves towards electronic voting in NSW state elections. The 2015 NSW state election to be held on 23 March will involve what will be one of the largest binding elections involving remote internet voting in the world.

    While remote internet voting was used in the NSW state election in 2011 on a smaller scale, the NSW Electoral Commission estimates that up to 200,000 voters will use iVote in the 2015 election. The success of the iVote system will be keenly watched by those with an interest in electronic voting.

    Read more...

    TAGS: e-voting, elections, internet voting, nsw, state elections

  • 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

  • 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

  • Some insights into political (dis)-engagement

    Posted 22/08/2013 by Brenton Holmes
    As Australian voters wrestle with their choice of parties and candidates in the 2013 Federal election campaign, the UK’s Hansard Society has released its annual audit of political engagement in Britain. Unlike Australia, voting in Britain is not compulsory.Turnout at recent UK general elections was: at the 1 May 1997 general election: 71.4%  at the 7 June 2001 general election: 59.54%at the 5 May 2005 general election: 61.4%at the 6 May 2010 general election: 65.1%The date of the next general el... Read more...

    TAGS: political engagement, voting

  • Melbourne by-election results for the Greens

    Posted 2/08/2012 by Joy McCann
    A by-election was conducted for the Victorian state electorate of Melbourne on Saturday 21 July 2012. Vote-counting and rechecking has now been completed, with the ALP emerging as the winning party with 51.51 per cent of votes after distribution of preferences.  The Melbourne District takes in the CBD, Docklands, East Melbourne, Carlton, North Melbourne, Flemington, Kensington and parts of Ascot Vale. According to the 2011 Census data, the population of the Melbourne electorate is generally youn... Read more...

    TAGS: ALP, Australia Greens, by-election, federal election 2010, voting

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