The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has warmed its existing IT systems are nearing the end of their life and that it needs money to have them updated. In a parliamentary submission, Inquiry into the conduct of the 2016 federal election and matters related thereto, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers raised concerns about the AEC’s current staffing model, noting that the number of staff has gone unchanged since 1984, despite the growing pool of voters. “I believe the temporary staffing model and the AEC’s election and roll management IT systems are at the end of their useful life,” Rogers wrote in his submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. “As a result, much of the delivery of elections and the data for monitoring and reporting on that delivery is reliant on human intervention and manual processes.”
Rogers explained that the extra money given to the commission after a 2011 review has been eroded and the AEC is yet again in a position where it cannot invest in new systems or staffing changes.
“The IT systems, which have been built over a long period of time, are not able to be easily integrated with contemporary mobile platforms and in many cases, will not be supported by vendors in future,” he added.
Pointing to the electoral system in place in the Australian Capital Territory, Rogers said he recently saw how the territory’s system worked during its October election, enabling the monitoring of activity and ballot stock at every polling place in real-time.