Electronic voting underway for ACT election

Published 29 Sep 2004

The first electronic votes for the 16 October ACT Legislative Assembly have now been cast.

"Electronic voting commenced at all four pre-poll voting centres yesterday," the ACT Electoral Commissioner, Phil Green, said today.

Voters who are unable to get to a polling place on 16 October can choose to cast an electronic vote at the pre-poll voting centres. These centres will be open each weekday between now and polling day, other than the 4 October public holiday.

The pre-poll voting centres are in the main town centres at Belconnen, Civic, Woden and Tuggeranong. On election day, electronic voting will be available at these same four locations and at Melba, Ngunnawal, Richardson and Weston.

The ACT remains the only Australian jurisdiction to use electronic voting for its parliamentary elections.

Voters use a barcode and a simple keypad to record their votes electronically.

Most of the electronic voting machines use standard personal computer hardware. However, in another Australian first, the Tuggeranong pre-poll centre is equipped with purpose-built voting machines that are being trialled in the ACT election for the first time. These machines were designed and built by South Australia-based company Entech.

The electronic voting system, known as eVACS (which stands for electronic voting and counting system), uses software developed by local Canberra company, Software Improvements. eVACS was used with success at the 2001 ACT Legislative Assembly election. In 2001, 16,559 electronic votes were counted.

"While electronic voting is only available at the same number of locations as the 2001 election, each polling place will have more voting terminals than were used in 2001. This should allow more people to use electronic voting this election," Mr Green said.

Representatives of the media are invited to view electronic voting at the pre-poll centres. Please contact the Electoral Commissioner, Phil Green to make an appointment.

Phillip Green
Electoral Commissioner