Electronic voting underway for ACT election

Published 7 Oct 2008

Over 3,800 electronic votes have been cast in the first week of polling for the 18 October ACT Legislative Assembly election.

“Electronic voting commenced at all five pre-poll voting centres last week,” ACT Electoral Commissioner, Phil Green, said today.

Voters who are unable to get to a polling place on 18 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 and on Saturday 11 October from 9.00am -5.00pm.

The pre-poll voting centres are in the main town centres at Belconnen, Civic, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and Woden. On polling day, electronic voting will be available at these same five locations.

The ACT was the first Australian jurisdiction to use electronic voting for its parliamentary elections.

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

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 and 2004 ACT Legislative Assembly elections.  In 2004 28,169 electronic votes were counted.

“The ACT’s eVACS uses open source software and standard personal computer hardware to achieve a low-cost yet transparent and reliable electronic voting system,” said Mr Green.

“The electronic voting system allows blind and sight-impaired people to vote entirely without assistance and in secret through the use of headphones and recorded voice instructions,” said the Electoral Commissioner. “ The system also provides on-screen voting instructions in 12 different languages.”

Phillip Green
Electoral Commissioner

More information about the 2008 ACT election can be viewed on the Commission's website at: www.elections.act.gov.au/election_08.html