23 August 2012
Measures to modernise the postal voting provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act and improve the way postal vote applications are made and processed were passed by the House of Representatives today.
Special Minister of State Gary Gray said the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill implemented recommendations made by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in its report into the 2010 Federal election.
“At the 2010 election, the Electoral Commission processed more than one million postal votes, which was a 17.8 per cent increase in the number processed at the 2007 election,” Mr Gray said. “The amendments improve the way postal vote applications are handled by enabling centralised electronic processing and dispatch.
“They do not fundamentally change the existing policy underpinning the current arrangements for postal voting.”
Mr Gray said the amendments also included incentives to reduce the size of ballot papers.
The Bill had cross-party support. It will now go to the Senate for consideration. It is part of a package of reforms that have been made to the Australian Electoral Act.
Earlier this year, the Parliament completed the passage of two important laws to target 1.5 million Australians who are entitled to vote but are not even on the roll.
The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Act and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Act allow the Electoral Commission to enrol electors, or update their details, by using reliable third party information.
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