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Elections and electoral systems: a quick guide to key internet links

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Elections and electoral systems: a quick guide to key internet links Brenton Holmes Politics and Public Administration

Australian Electoral Administration Authorities Each State and Territory has one or more legally constituted bodies who administer elections and/or oversee the political financing of political parties and financial entitles that are associated with them.


The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is responsible for the administration of the Commonwealth Electoral Act

1918. The Commission’s website contains:

• Detailed results of federal elections

• Electoral statistics for federal elections and by-elections and for Referendums

• Comprehensive information on enrolment and Australia’s federal voting system

• Maps and data about federal electorates

• Details of political financing arrangements and the registration and reporting obligations of political parties

• Information for candidates and scrutineers and students

• AEC Current List of Registered Political Parties

• An election funding and disclosure report on each federal election

• The Youth Electoral Study

The AEC also publishes Electoral Backgrounders to assist candidates, political parties, parliamentarians, media commentators, academics, schools, and citizens generally. The Backgrounders are very helpful, but are no substitute for a careful reading of the legislation—in the final analysis it is for the courts to decide upon the operation of the law in any particular case.

State and Territory electoral authorities These links will take you to the official websites :

• Elections ACT

• New South Wales Electoral Commission

• New South Wales Election Funding Authority

• Northern Territory Electoral Commission

• Electoral Commission of Queensland

• Electoral Commission of South Australia

ISSN 2203-5249

• Tasmanian Electoral Commission

• Victorian Electoral Commission

• Western Australia Electoral Commission

Electoral legislation Commonwealth • Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

• Commonwealth Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

• Representation Act 1983

• Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act

• Electoral and Referendum Regulations 1940

• Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Pre-poll Voting and Other Measures) Regulations 2010

New South Wales • Constitution Act 1902 (Scroll to Part3)

• Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912

Victoria • Electoral Act 2002

• Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 1982

Queensland • Electoral Act 1992

• Electoral Regulations 2013

Western Australia • Election Of Senators Act 1903

• Electoral Act 1907

• Electoral Distribution Act 1947

South Australia • Electoral Act 1985

• Electoral Regulations 1997

Tasmania • Constitution Act 1934 (Scroll to sub-sections 9 - 35)

• Electoral Act 2004

• Electoral (Registered Parties) Act 1995

• Legislative Council (Electoral Boundaries) Act 1995

• Referendum Procedures Act 2004

Australian Capital Territory • Australian Capital Territory Electoral Act 1992

• Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1994

• Proportional Representation (Hare-Clark) Entrenchment Act 1994

Northern Territory • Electoral Act 2004

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Useful Australian election databases, blog and archives • The Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand is a consultative council of all of Australia’s Electoral Commissioners and is concerned with roll accuracy, integrity and electoral administration.

• The Electoral Regulation Research Network was established in 2012 with the aim of fostering exchange and discussion amongst academics, electoral commissions and other interested groups on research relating to electoral regulation

• Antony Green has a website hosted by the ABC that contains comprehensive information about federal, state and territory elections. He also maintains an up-to-date blog of election activity and issues.

• Adam Carr's Election Archives: All House of Representatives and Senate results since 1901, recent state and territory results.

• The Australian Election Studies: Based at the Australian National University, this site aims to provide a long-term perspective on stability and change in the political attitudes and behaviour of the Australian electorate, and investigate the changing social bases of Australian politics as the economy and society modernise and change character. The studies have been running as a series of surveys beginning in 1987 that have been timed to coincide with Australian Federal elections. The series also builds on the 1967, 1969 and 1979 Australian Political Attitudes Surveys.

• Australian Politics and Elections Database: A University of WA database of parties, elections, governments and representation for state and federal parliaments since 1890. This website has been created by researchers associated with the UWA and is intended for anyone who wants to find out general information about Australian parliamentary politics and elections.

• Australian Electoral Commission Election Statistics 1993, 1996 and 1998: Election results by polling booth (available to Senators, Members and Parliamentary staff only.

• The National Library of Australia's Pandora Archive has captured political party and candidate websites from the federal elections from 2001:

- 2001 Australian Election Archive

- 2004 Australian Election Archive

- 2007 Australian Election Archive

Australian Electoral History Election Dates and Leaders • Federal, State and Territory Election Dates 1946 - Present

• Election Dates 1901 - Present - House of Representatives

• Election Dates 1901 - Present - Senate

• Prime Ministers and Opposition Leaders

• By-election and Supplementary elections

Women and the vote • Electoral Milestones for Women

• Women in the Political Arena

• Women and the Right to Vote in Australia

• Electoral Divisions Named after Women

• Women in the Current Parliament: Information is available on the Parliamentary Library website.

• Our Centenary of Women's Suffrage: Information on is available on the Department of Social Services website.

Indigenous Australians and the Vote • History of the Indigenous Vote

• Indigenous Voters: a range of information for Indigenous voters.

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• Electoral Milestones for Indigenous Australians

• Indigenous people and the vote: a brief history of Indigenous enfranchisement.

Australian Electoral Reform • Milestones in Electoral Reform

• A Short History of Federal Electoral Reform in Australia

• The Right to Vote in Australia

Miscellaneous Information • Origins of Electoral Division Names - Current divisions

• Origins of Electoral Division Names - Abolished divisions

Parliamentary and official reports on Australian elections and outcomes: 2000 - 2014 • After every federal election the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) provides a report to the Parliament. JSCEM has a full list of Committee activities (inquiries and reports) from 1996 to current day.

• The Parliamentary Handbook includes a section on the election related to each new Parliament. Earlier reports are not available online, but please consult JSCEM's Committee activities page for details.

Relevant overseas electoral authorities Canada • Elections Canada is the Canadian agency responsible for the conduct of federal elections and referendums.

New Zealand • New Zealand Electoral Commission: includes information from the Electoral Commission, Electoral Enrolment Centre and the Chief Electoral Office.

• New Zealand Election Study: NZES began in its present form in 1990. The NZES's main source of data are questionnaires which are posted to randomly selected electors following each election.

United Kingdom and Northern Ireland • Electoral Commission (UK); regulates elections, political financing, and conducts research.

• Northern Ireland Elections information about elections in Northern Ireland since 1885.

• UK Elect: United Kingdom Election Forecasting and Politics Program.

• Hansard Society: independent, non-partisan political research and education about representative democracy.

• Electoral Reform Society: independent, non-partisan political research and education.

United States • Federal Election Commission: administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws.

• Commission on Presidential Debates: sponsors debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and undertakes relevant research and educational activities.

• The Center for Voting and Democracy: engages with academics, journalists and policymakers to promote electoral reform.

Other Resources Australia • Proportional Representation Society of Australia: promotes electoral reform, especially through advocacy of systems such as Hare-Clark.

Around the World • election dates, information and results by year.

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• Election Resources on the Internet: comprehensive directory and worldwide election statistics.

• Election World: current issues in global politics from an American perspective.

• International Foundation for Electoral Systems: including an International Election Calendar.

• The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide.

• The Carter Center database is intended to assist election assistance providers, election observers and others in their efforts to utilize human rights obligations for assessing the quality of electoral processes.

• The European Election Database facilitates comparative research on elections in Europe.

• The Political Database of the Americas is a non-governmental project of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Georgetown University .

• European Election Studies (ESS) electoral participation and voting behaviour in European Parliament elections.

• Extreme Right Electorates and Party Success (EREPS): seeks to address the relative dearth of comparative research into extreme right parties, and in particular the profiles and roles of their electorates.

• European Social Survey: an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted every two years across Europe since 2001.

• European Values Study: the most comprehensive research project on human values in Europe.

• World Values Surveys: data about values and cultural changes in societies all over the world.

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With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and to the extent that copyright subsists in a third party, this publication, its logo and front page design are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence.

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