The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has flagged that it will adopt a raft of new recommendations aimed at assisting it to harness technology to modernise processes and engage more effectively with voters.
The recommendations, from the Report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) ‘Report on the conduct of the 2007 federal election and matters related thereto’ will cost $5.7 million, according to the AEC.
The Commission expects that these will be fully offset by savings that will be obtained from work practices that will become more efficient as a result of the changes.
The report’s recommendations include the use of electronic certified lists in polling places and pre-poll voting centres, with appropriate measures implemented to ensure the security of the equipment and data.
The the creation, implementation and maintenance of an enrolment website designed to facilitate the receipt and use of information provided electronically by enrolled electors, in order to update the electoral roll is also recommended.
The implementation of mobile polling of electors at town camps, such as in Darwin and Alice Springs, to cater for mine workers in Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, and in hospitals where electors are unable to get to a static polling station.
Facilitating online transactions using Australian Electoral Commission of approved forms was also recommended.
Costs for ICT services for the 2007 election to 30 June 2008 were $10.87 million, with the running of electronic voting trials costing of $2.8 million.
Some $372,000 was spent on IT services in the provision of the National Tally Room at the election.