Australia

Articles about voting issues in the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia: Parliamentary inquiry finds Western Australia’s electoral system ‘stuck in the past’ | Perth Now

Western Australia’s electoral system has become “stuck in the past” amid outdated legislation and a lack of funding, a parliamentary inquiry into the 2017 state election has found. The final report from the standing committee inquiry highlighted several problems with the security of internet voting, poor transparency for political donations and the state’s ageing Electoral Act. Inquiry chair Peter Katsambanis says the state’s 111-year old electoral legislation is a “hodgepodge of contradictory provisions that make no sense“, which prevented the use of electronic voting systems. Read More

Australia: Vision-impaired voters to have access to electronic voting at state election | In Daily

The State Government has approved the use of VoteAssist, a computer-based application developed by the Western Australian Electoral Commission for its 2013 state election. The software uses specially designed computer terminals, headphones and a numeric keypad to provide audio prompts to guide the elector through the voting process. The Government passed legislation last year to introduce electronically assisted voting technology. The legislation was prompted by recommendations made by the Electoral Commission following the 2010 and 2014 state elections, calling for a trial of alternative voting for some electors. Read More

Australia: A new type of scrutineer needed for Senate elections | CIO

There are few processes as critical to the smooth running of a society than the electoral process. It’s a procedure in which we must all trust. So it’s surprising that the current Senate count process was found by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have several deficiencies which were not disclosed at the time of the election. ANAO identified several anomalies in the running of the 2016 Senate election which, although not necessarily casting doubt on the correctness of who was elected, are cause for concern. Read More

Australia: Electoral Commission failed basic cyber-security requirements, misled public during 2016 federal election, audit finds | ABC

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) misled the public about the security of its data during the 2016 federal election and failed to ensure it had not been compromised, a damning audit has found. The National Audit Office has revealed the AEC did not comply with the Federal Government’s basic cyber-security requirements due to time restraints, and accepted the extra security risk. The audit also revealed the Government’s cyber-spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), warned the AEC it was unlikely to resolve its security weaknesses before the July 2 poll. For the first time, the AEC contracted a company to digitally scan and count all Senate votes and preferences. But just days before the election, a decision was made to manually cross-check all ballots to ensure accuracy. Read More

Australia: Senate vote-counting-ware contract a complete shambles | The Register

The Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC’s) handling of the nation’s 2016 election was deeply flawed, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found. The auditor’s investigation was kicked off after the 2016 double-dissolution election, which introduced at short notice optional preferential voting for Australia’s Senate. The AEC anticipated a complex count, and in March 2016 had begun work on a system to automate the Senate count, but its timetable was foreshortened by the early election. That set off a chain of events that resulted in wasted money and security failures, the auditor has found. Read More

Australia: Electoral Commission exploring how technology can simplify voting process | ZDNet

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has told a House of Representatives committee that it is looking into a way for its officers to utilise technology to look up the status of citizens at the next federal election in lieu of the dated paper-based method currently employed. The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters heard on Wednesday from AEC representatives, who explained that the government agency is “progressing a series of technical amendments” with the Department of Finance as part of its attempt to modernise the AEC. Read More

Australia: New South Wales prepares for broader e-voting scheme | iTnews

The NSW Electoral Commission has invited pitches from suppliers to replace the core system behind iVote in preparation for increased use of the online voting system at the next state election. It follows the passage of legislation allowing previously ineligible voters to use technology-assisted voting in NSW’s general elections and by-elections. The existing iVote system was originally introduced for the 2011 state election as a way for blind and vision impaired citizens to vote independently and privately. It has since been expanded to support those voting from overseas or interstate. Read More

Australia: Clearing Path to Legalization, Australia Votes for Gay Marriage | The New York Times

A solid majority of Australians voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a historic survey that, while not binding, paves the way for Parliament to legally recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples. Of 12.7 million Australians who took part in the government survey, 61.6 percent voted yes and 38.4 percent voted no, officials announced on Wednesday morning. Participation was high, with 79.5 percent of voting-age Australians sending back their postal ballots. “The Australian people have spoken, and they have voted overwhelmingly ‘yes’ for marriage equality,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called the survey in a move described by advocates as a delay tactic devised to appease his party’s far-right faction. “They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love.” Read More

Australia: What happens if Australia votes “no” in the postal survey? | Sydney Morning Herald

Australia won’t know the results of the same-sex marriage survey until 10am on Wednesday morning. But there has been a growing assumption over the course of the campaign that the “yes” camp will win. Senior ministers such as Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop have said they think the “yes” vote will win. “Yes” campaigner Sarah Hanson-Young has said she’s “very, very confident”. And as voting closed  last week, “no” spokesman Lyle Shelton conceded, “we’re chasing down a big lead”.  Poll after poll has also found support for same-sex marriage is at about two to one. Just before the survey closed last week, a Guardian Essential Poll found 64 per cent of people who voted say they ticked “yes”. Read More

Australia: Voting Twice Online in Australia’s Same-Sex Marriage Poll Was Frighteningly Easy | Mother Jones

For the past month, Australians have been casting their ballots in a nonbinding-yet-divisive survey to advise their elected leaders on the question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” As an overseas Aussie who cares deeply about the issue, I wanted my say. So, one day a few weeks ago, I entered my personal details into a designated government website and received a “Secure Access Code” that allowed me to cast my vote online. When I checked my mail later that day, however, I found a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the agency administering the survey. This letter contained a different Secure Access Code. My reporter’s red flag flew up immediately. Was it possible, I wondered, that the system would validate both of these codes and let me vote twice? That would be a potentially troubling situation, because if I could do it, then others could, too. I had to find out. Read More