The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) staff are trialling notebook computers to electronically check-off voters at polling booths around the country. It is the first time notebook computers have been used in a federal election to mark off names and addresses from the electoral roll. Similar devices were used during the ACT election last year and proved successful. AEC spokesman Phil Diak says staff will swap pencils and rulers for the notebooks, making it easier to look-up interstate voters. “We’ll also be able to print ballot papers from the notebooks and that will help us in terms of holding stocks of interstate ballot papers for the House of Representatives,” he said.
The computers will be used at 60 polling sites across Australia, and by more than 80 mobile polling teams travelling around rural areas.
“Including a very large polling place at Sydney Town Hall. It gets a lot of visitors from interstate, both having an early vote and on election day,” he said.
Mr Diak says the outcomes and benefits of the trial will be considered after the election to see how the technology may be used in the future.