The Electoral Amendment Bill has … passed its first reading with unanimous support, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.
The Bill implements recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee Inquiry into the 2014 General Election that require a law change, and can be implemented in time for the 2017 General Election.
“The proposed changes in the Bill focus on improving services to voters, candidates and parties by making the law and voting process more user-friendly and adapting to changing voter behaviours,” says Ms Adams.
Key features of the legislation include:
– allowing electoral officials in voting places on election day to be able check a voter’s enrolment status by looking up and marking them off electronically, rather than having to rely on paper-based rolls
– permitting the counting of advance votes earlier on Election Day to ensure preliminary results can be announced in a timely manner
– allowing the Electoral Commission to use new methods of providing information to electors via email, in addition to post
– banning campaigning and the display of campaign material inside and within 10 metres of Advance Voting Places.
The Bill will now go to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for further review.
Ms Adams says that the vast majority of the changes in the Bill have already been carefully considered by the Committee and unanimously recommended.
Rather unremarkably, there is no unanimous support to have all electoral breaches prosecuted. The Electoral Commission hands all complaints to police. Police then put them in a drawer and when all the heat has gone out of the issue, announce that they will not prosecute. Read more »