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Electoral Legislation Amendment (Counting, Scrutiny and Operational Efficiencies) Bill 2021

Originating house
House of Representatives
Parliament no

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Amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: insert a vote-saving provision for postal votes that are not received inside a sealed envelope bearing a postal vote certificate; enable postal voters outside Australia to complete certain procedural steps electronically if they are unable to comply with authorised witness requirements; amend how records of paper-based postal vote applications are managed; remove the requirements for pre-poll declaration envelopes to carry a distinguishing number; provide for a fixed pre-poll period commencing no earlier than 12 days before polling day; enable the early opening and sorting of pre-poll ballot papers, and the early extraction of declaration votes; allow ‘spoilt’ or ‘discarded’ ballot papers to be bundled; increase the number of scrutineers permitted to observe the computerised scrutiny of Senate elections; and remove the requirement for the authorisation of printed electoral material to include details of the printer.


House of Representatives
Introduced and read a first time 12 Aug 2021
Second reading moved 12 Aug 2021
Second reading debate 25 Aug 2021
Second reading agreed to 25 Aug 2021
Third reading agreed to 25 Aug 2021
Introduced and read a first time 26 Aug 2021
Second reading moved 26 Aug 2021
Second reading debate 26 Aug 2021
Second reading agreed to 26 Aug 2021
Third reading agreed to 26 Aug 2021
Finally passed both Houses 26 Aug 2021
  • Act no: 92
  • Year: 2021
02 Sep 2021

Documents and transcripts

Text of bill

Explanatory memoranda

Proposed amendments


Schedules of amendments

No documents at present

Bills digest


Helpful information

Text of bill

  • First reading: Text of the bill as introduced into the Parliament
  • Third reading: Prepared if the bill is amended by the house in which it was introduced. This version of the bill is then considered by the second house.
  • As passed by both houses: Final text of bill agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate which is presented to the Governor-General for assent.

Explanatory memoranda

  • Explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and provides an explanation of the content of the introduced version (first reading) of the bill.
  • Supplementary explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains amendments proposed by the government to the bill.
  • Revised explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains the amended version (third reading) of the bill. It supersedes the explanatory memorandum.

Proposed amendments

Circulated by members and senators when they propose to make changes to the bill. For details about the outcome of proposed amendments please refer to either the Votes and Proceedings (House of Representatives) or the Journals (Senate).

Schedules of amendments

Schedules of amendments list amendments agreed to by the second house are communicated to the first house for consideration. Subsequent action by either house may also be included in a schedule.

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