The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) does not have the internal capabilities to safely carry out an e-voting trial prior to the next federal election, according to the acting Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers. Rogers, who spoke today at a parliamentary committee hearing investigating electoral matters, said that he was not confident the AEC could safely introduce electronic voting. “I’m concerned about our ability to introduce some form of electronic voting, safely,” he said. “We could introduce something, but we may end up back in a WA sort of situation if we’re not careful, in a short space of time. “I would be worried about any form large scale adoption before the next election, even a trial. We would not have the internal ability now to do that. We would have already had to have started that process,” he said. “I’m concerned, as the acting commissioner, about whether I can tell you faithfully that we can implement a safe solution.”
The hearing today, chaired by Tony Smith, was part of an inquiry into the AEC following the loss of electoral ballots in the 2013 Western Australia senate election. The AEC has since embarked on a number of major internal reforms.
Rogers said that, given the attention the AEC is currently giving to its internal reform process, it would be hard pushed at present to embark on establishing an e-voting system.