Government response to the 2001 election review

Updated 6 Jan 2015

The Electoral Commission tabled a report entitled The 2001 ACT Legislative Assembly Election: Electronic Voting and Counting System Review in the Legislative Assembly on 27 June 2002. This report examined the successful introduction of computer voting and counting at the 2001 election.

In the presentation speech to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2003, presented on 8 May 2003, the ACT's Chief Minister, Mr Jon Stanhope MLA, stated that the ACT Government supports the use of electronic voting and counting at future elections along the lines used at the 2001 election.

Mr Stanhope also stated that the Government does not support replacing the traditional concept of "polling day" with a three week "polling period" as suggested in the above report. This is considered to be too big a change in the nature of the political process in the ACT.

No changes to the Electoral Act are needed to continue the use of electronic voting and counting.

Funding of $70,000 was provided in the 2003/2004 financial year to enhance the electronic voting system to provide for the automatic setting of ballot papers and associated sound files. This process was previously carried out manually. The funding was provided to ensure the system could be readied in the short time frame between the close of nominations, which occured on 22 September 2003 and the start of polling on 27 September 2003.

In addition, funding of $80,000 was provided in the election year to provide for hardware and polling place set up to facilitate computer voting at four pre-poll centres and eight polling places on polling day.

Electronic counting of votes at the election was funded by the Electoral Commission from within its existing budget.