The Australian Electoral Commission does not currently have the internal capability to test electronic voting at the next federal election, according to its acting chief Tom Rogers. In a hearing of the parliamentary committee investigating electoral matters today, Rogers said he was not confident the AEC had the capacity to roll out such a major reform. “I would be worried by any large-scale trial of electronic voting before the next election,” he told the committee. “We would not have the internal capability now to do that.”
Following the loss of electoral ballots in the 2013 WA senate race, the AEC has been subject to an external inquiry and is undergoing several major internal reforms to address what Rogers called “the single biggest issue to confront the electoral commission in modern history”.
He expressed his grave fear that if a rushed trial were to go wrong “it would destroy the confidence of the community in the AEC”.
“We don’t want to be a in a WA situation again,” he said. His views contrast with those of the Department of Communications, which yesterday put its support behind the prospect of a limited trial of electronic voting from voter’s own devices, which it envisioned taking place during the 2016 federal election.