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Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Roll Integrity and Other Measures) Bill 2002

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2002

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

ELECTORAL AND REFERENDUM AMENDMENT (ROLL INTEGRITY AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2002

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated with the authority of the Special Minister of State,

Senator the Honourable Eric Abetz)

 

 

 

 

 



 

ELECTORAL AND REFERENDUM AMENDMENT (ROLL INTEGRITY AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2002

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Bill contains reform measures, amending both the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA) and the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 (RMPA), arising from the government-supported recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ (JSCEM) report on the 1998 Federal Election, which was tabled in the Parliament in June 2000.

 

The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives, as the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2001, on 26 September 2001 during the 39 th Parliament, but lapsed when the Parliament was prorogued for the 2001 Federal Election.

 

The most notable amendments include those which will:

·          provide for the close of rolls for new enrolments at the issue of the writ, and for existing electors wishing to update their enrolment, three working days after the issue of the writ;

·          remove the right to vote for all prisoners serving a sentence of full time detention;

·          amend the multiple voting provisions of the CEA and the RMPA to insert a new offence of ‘intentional’ multiple voting, with a penalty of 60 penalty units (which currently equates to $6,600), imprisonment for 12 months, or both.  These offences are in addition to, and do not replace, the current offences of voting more than once at the same election or referendum, which are offences of strict liability, and which will retain a penalty of 10 penalty units;

·          increase a number of the financial disclosure thresholds to $3000, effective from 1 July 2001;

·          provide that entitlement to enrolment will be based on residence, for a period of one month, at a particular address in a Subdivision, rather than just residence in the Subdivision;

·          provide that electors may be removed from the roll by objection if they no longer reside at their enrolled address and have not lived there for at least the last month (even if they still reside in the Subdivision);

·          provide that where an elector has cast a provisional vote because their name has been removed from the roll as a result of objection action, (ie. the AEC had found that they no longer lived at their enrolled address), the elector’s provisional vote will not be admitted to scrutiny if, since the removal of the elector’s name from the roll, an election (excluding the election to which the scrutiny relates) has been held, or if there has been a redistribution of the State or Territory that includes the Division for which the elector is claiming the provisional vote since the last election, and their name was removed from the roll prior to that redistribution;

·          provide that there will be no automatic reinstatement to the roll for electors whose provisional votes have been admitted to the count.  Instead, these electors will be required to complete a new enrolment form;

·          prohibit scrutineers from actively participating in assisted votes;

·          provide that only electoral advertising in journals and magazines needs to be authorised;

·          provide that nomination deposits are to be refunded to the person who paid them;

·          allow for the declaration of nominations for House of Representatives elections to occur at the office of the relevant Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) or at a place determined by the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for the relevant State or Territory; and

·          amend the RMPA to provide that before making the postal vote applications of silent electors available for public inspection, all details other than the elector’s name must be removed from the application.  This will make the CEA and RMPA consistent in regard to what information is to be deleted from the postal vote applications of ‘silent’ electors prior to public inspection.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The Australian Electoral Commission will require additional funding of $50,000 in an election year and $250,000 in a non-election year to implement the early close of rolls provisions.  The additional funds will cover the cost of a targeted information campaign to ensure that electors are fully informed of the requirements of the new provisions.

 



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

1.         This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Roll Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2002.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.         This clause provides that sections 1 to 3 commence on Royal Assent.  Items 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 45, 46, 47 and 48 of Schedule 1 and items 25 and 46 of Schedule 2 commence on a date to be fixed by Proclamation.  The remainder of the items in the Schedules commence 28 days after Royal Assent, with the exception of item 1 and 2 of Schedule 3, which are taken to have commenced on 5 December 1999, immediately after the commencement of items 764 and 765 of Schedule 1 to the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 .  The items in Schedule 3 are technical amendments only, and it is anticipated that this retrospective commencement date will have no detrimental effect.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

3.         This clause provides that each Act specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in the Schedule, and any other item in a Schedule has effect according to its terms.

 

Schedule 1 - General amendments

 

Schedule 1 items 1, 2, 6, 7, 23, 24, 25, 43, 44, 50, 51 and 60 - Removal of the right to vote by prisoners

 

4.  Items 1, 2, and 6 amend section 93 and repeal section 96A of the CEA to remove the right to enrol and vote from all persons serving a term of imprisonment for an offence against the law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory.  Previously, only those serving a sentence of 5 years or longer were not entitled to enrol and vote.

 

5.  Only those who are serving a sentence of full time detention will no longer be eligible to enrol and vote - those serving alternative sentences such as periodic or home detention, as well as those serving a non-custodial sentence or released on parole, may still be eligible to enrol and vote. 

 

6.  Item 7 is a consequential amendment that removes from subsection 99(3) a reference to section 96A of the CEA, as this section will be repealed by item 6.

 

7.  Item 23 amends the grounds for applying for registration as a General Postal Voter (GPV) in section 184A of the CEA to clarify that prisoners within the (proposed) meaning of 93(8) are not eligible for registration.

 



8.  Item 24 repeals section 226A of the CEA and item 51 repeals section 49A of the RMPA.  These provisions, which provide for mobile polling in prisons, will no longer be necessary if the proposed amendments to section 93(8) are passed, as prisoners will no longer be entitled to vote.  Items 25, 44 and 50 are consequential to this amendment.

 

9.  Item 43 amends clause 9 of Schedule 2 of the CEA, and item 39 amends clause 9 of Schedule 3 of the RMPA, to provide that imprisonment is no longer a ground to apply for postal or pre-poll vote.

 

10.  These amendments implement a recommendation of the Government Response to the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 items 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 45, 46, 47 and 48 - Close of rolls

 

11.  Items 11, 12, 47 and 48 amend section 155 of the CEA and section 9 of the RMPA to provide for the close of rolls for new enrolments at the issue of the writ (that is, at 6pm on the date of the issue of the writ).  The close of rolls for existing electors wishing to update their enrolment or for applicants who are not currently but have previously been enrolled, will be 8pm three working days after the issue of the writ.

 

12.  Item 8 deals with the actions to be taken by the relevant DRO upon receipt of a claim for enrolment.  Items 3, 4 and 5 deal with enrolment from overseas, enrolment from the spouse or child of an eligible overseas elector, and enrolment of itinerant electors respectively.  In each case the DRO may not add the enrolment applicant’s name to the roll if the application was received during the ‘postponement period’ (however processing of forms received by the DRO prior to the postponement period may continue).  The postponement period commences at 8pm three working days after the date of the issue of the writ for applicants who have previously been electors, and at 6pm on the date of the issue of the writ for those who have not previously been electors (that is, are new enrolments).  In both cases the postponement period ends at the close of polling for the election.

 

13.  These amendments implement recommendation 3 of the Government Response to the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 item 9 - Removal of nexus between provisional voting and reinstatement

 

14.  This amendment provides for the removal of the nexus between the admission of a provisional vote to the further scrutiny and automatic reinstatement of the provisional voter’s name to the electoral roll.  Under current legislation, in certain cases where an elector has been removed from the roll by objection, and subsequently casts a provisional vote at an election, a DRO may be required to reinstate the name of the elector to the roll if the elector claims to still reside within the same Subdivision.  By repealing subsections 105(4) and (5) of the CEA, DROs will no longer be required to automatically reinstate to the roll an elector who has been removed by objection and subsequently casts a provisional vote at the next election or referendum.  Instead the elector will be required to complete a new enrolment form to be placed back on the roll.

 

15.  This amendment implements recommendation 38 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 item 10 - Information on convictions to be provided to the AEC

 

16.  This amendment to section 109 of the CEA is consequential to the proposed amendments that remove prisoner voting rights.  It provides that the Controller-General of Prisons shall, as soon as practicable after the beginning of each month, provide to the AEC a list of persons who during the preceding month have been convicted and are serving a sentence of imprisonment (rather than a sentence of 5 years or longer as is currently the case), as defined by subsection 93(8).

 

17.  “Controller-General of Prisons” is defined in section 4 of the CEA as the Controller-General or other principal officer of a State or Territory having control of the prisons or gaols.

 

Schedule 1 items 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22 - Return of nomination deposit to person who paid it

 

18.  Items 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22 amend sections 173, 177 and 178 of the CEA to provide that where the deposit paid by or on behalf of a candidate at a House of Representatives or Senate election is to be returned, it is returned to the person who paid it or to a person authorised in writing by the person who paid it, rather than to the candidate or a person authorised in writing by the candidate.  In the case of the death of a candidate who paid the deposit themselves and had not authorised the return of the deposit to another person in writing, the deposit will be returned to the personal representative of the candidate.

 

Schedule 1 items 16, 17, and 18 - Declaration of nominations

 

19.  Currently, it is only possible for the AEO to determine a declaration place in relation to Senate elections - for a House of Representatives election the declaration of nominations must be made at the place of nominations.  These amendments will allow the place of declaration of nominations for both Senate and House of Representatives elections to be a place determined by the AEO.  The AEO will be able to determine a declaration place in relation to each Division for House of Representatives elections (which may be the same place for multiple Divisions), as well as a declaration place for the State or Territory for Senate elections.

 

20.  This will allow for the declaration to be held at a place other than DRO or AEO’s offices, where space may be limited.

 



Schedule 1 items 26 and 49 - Scrutineers not to provide assistance to voters

 

21.  It is currently the case that, under section 234 of the CEA and section 36 of the RMPA, where an elector satisfies the presiding officer of a polling place that they suffer a disability which precludes them from personally casting a vote (are physically impaired, vision impaired or illiterate), the elector may be assisted in the casting of their vote by a person of their choice.  These amendments propose to explicitly prevent scrutineers from providing assistance to voters.  Apart from scrutineers, this amendment will not limit in any other way those who can assist the elector in the casting of their vote.  Scrutineers are unable to relinquish their appointment as a scrutineer in order to assist in the casting of a vote.

 

22.  These amendments implement recommendation 36 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 items 27, 28 and 29 - Minimum disclosure by donors

 

23.   Item 27 amends subsection 305B(1) to lift the minimum amount donated before a donor is required to lodge a return from $1,500 to $3,000.  As such, it will be the case that where a person makes donations totalling $3,000 or more in a financial year to the same political party, or to the same State branch of a political party, they must provide a return to the Electoral Commission.  Donations totalling less than $3,000 in a financial year to the same political party, or to the same State branch of a political party, will not have to be disclosed.

 

24.  Items 28 and 29 propose amendments to bring subsection 305B(3A) into line with the proposed amendments to 305B(1).  That is, where the donor receives a gift valued at $3,000 which is then used to make up gifts donated to a political party totalling $3,000 or more in a financial year, this must be included in the return to the Electoral Commission.

 

25.  These amendments implement recommendation 45 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 items 30, 35 and 37 - Application of disclosure amendments

 

26.  These items deal with the application of the proposed amendments to subsections 305B(1), 305B(3A), 314AC(1) and 314AE(1) of the CEA, so that the amendments apply to the financial year in which the items commence, as well as to all later financial years.  Although this application may be retrospective in some circumstances, no detrimental effect is anticipated as the amendments will simplify disclosure requirements.  If individuals and parties have been maintaining appropriate records in line with current requirements, no additional information will be needed to be gathered.

 



Schedule 1 items 31, 32 and 33 - Gifts and Loans received by political parties

 

27.  The proposed amendment to subsection 306(1), at Item 31, would increase the amount a political party or a person acting on behalf of a political party may receive as a gift without recording the name and address of the person making the gift from $1,000 to $3,000.

 

28.  The proposed amendments to section 306A, at Items 32 and 33, would increase the amount a party, candidate, member of a group or a person acting on behalf of a political party, candidate or group may receive as a loan from a person or organisation without recording the details of the loan from $1,500 to $3,000.

 

Schedule 1 items 34 and 36 - Minimum disclosure by political parties

 

29.  The proposed amendment to subsection 314AC(1), at Item 34, would increase the disclosable sum received by a party from a person or organisation from $1,500 to $3,000.

 

30.  The amendment to subsection 314AE(1), at Item 36, would increase the disclosable sum of all outstanding debts incurred by, or on behalf of, a party to a person or organisation from $1,500 to $3,000.

 

31.  These amendments implement recommendation 44 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 items 38 to 41 and 53 to 57 - Heading to electoral advertising in journals

 

32.  Under the current provisions of the CEA and RMPA, any article or paragraph in a journal containing electoral matter must be labelled as an ‘advertisement’.  This is due to an inaccuracy in amendments contained in the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act 1998 .  The intent of the amendments was to broaden the requirement to label advertisements so that it included printed matter other than newspapers.  However, as the legislation currently stands, any political commentary in any journal must be labelled as an advertisement.  The proposed amendments will amend section 331 of the CEA and section 124 of the RMPA so that only advertisements containing electoral matter must be labelled as an ‘advertisement’, whether inserted for consideration (meaning monetary or non-monetary payment) or not.

 

33.  These amendments implement recommendation 17 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 items 42, 58 and 59 - Multiple voting

 

34.  Items 42 and 59 will insert new subsections to section 339 of the CEA and section 130 of the RMPA to add a new offence of ‘intentional’ multiple voting.  Where a person is found guilty of intentionally voting more than once at the same election (or referendum), the penalty will be 60 penalty units (which currently equates to $6,600), imprisonment for 12 months, or both.  This will have the effect of disqualifying anybody convicted and under sentence (or subject to be sentenced) under either of these sections from being capable of sitting as a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution.

 

35.  Section 44 of the Constitution sets out those classes of persons who are incapable of being chosen or sitting as a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives.  Paragraph 44(ii) specifies any person who “Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer”.

 

36.  These offences are in addition to, and do not replace, the current offences of voting more than once at the same election or referendum, which are offences of strict liability, and which will retain a penalty of 10 penalty units.  The purpose of this is to maintain a relatively low penalty for those convicted of perhaps unintentional or accidental multiple voting, whereas those convicted of intentional multiple voting may receive the penalty of 60 penalty units, 12 months imprisonment, or both.  It is appropriate that there be tougher sanctions against deliberate wrongdoers.  This is in line with the Attorney-General’s Department requirement that offences of strict liability do not receive overly severe penalties.

 

37.  Item 58 is an amendment to correct an existing technical error in the RMPA by substituting the word ‘election’ with ‘referendum’.

 

38.  These amendments implement a recommendation of the Government Response to the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 1 item 52 - Removal of ‘silent’ electors details from public inspection of postal vote applications

 

39.  Item 52 is an amendment to section 62 of the RMPA to require DROs to delete all details from a ‘silent’ elector’s postal vote application, except the person’s name, before making them available for public inspection.  This will make the CEA and RMPA consistent in regard to what information is to be deleted from the postal vote applications of ‘silent’ electors prior to public inspection.

 

Schedule 2 - Enrolment in respect of an address

 

Schedule 2 items 1 to 11, 17 to 19 - Enrolment in respect of an address

 

40.  Items 5 to 10 and 17 to 19 amend sections 99 and 102 to provide that an elector’s entitlement for enrolment will be in respect of residence at an address within a Subdivision (rather than just residence within the Subdivision), and the elector’s name will be placed on the roll in respect of residence at that address.

 

41.  To be entitled to have their name placed on the roll, the elector must be living at the address, and have lived at the address for at least a period of one month last past.

 



42.  Items 1 and 2 will amend sections 94A and 95 of the CEA dealing with the entitlement for enrolment for persons applying from outside Australia under section 94A, and the spouse or child of an eligible overseas elector applying for enrolment under section 95.  These amendments are consequential to the amendments that will provide that enrolment will be in respect of an address within a Subdivision.  Electors who enrol from outside Australia or who enrol as a spouse or child of an eligible overseas elector are placed on the roll for a Subdivision only, not for a particular address within a Subdivision.  This will not change under this amendment.  The amendment simply updates the entitlement provision from requiring notional residence in a Subdivision to requiring notional residence at an address.  Accordingly, persons applying for enrolment under sections 94A or 95 will be entitled for enrolment within a Subdivision where they satisfy the criteria outlined in section 94A or 95, and are not qualified for enrolment but would be qualified if they resided at an address within a subdivision and had done so for at least a month.  These amendments have no substantive effect on how applications for enrolment from outside Australia or as a, spouse or child of an eligible overseas elector are processed.

 

43.  Paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘qualified Norfolk Islander’ (subsection 95AA(1)) is amended by items 3 and 4 to now refer to qualifications for enrolment on the basis of residence at an address in a Subdivision, rather than residence within a Subdivision alone.  Like eligible overseas electors, Norfolk Islanders are placed on the roll for a Subdivision only, not for a particular address within a Subdivision.  These amendments are consequential to the amendments that will provide that enrolment will be in respect of an address within a Subdivision.  These amendments have no substantive effect on how applications for enrolment as a Norfolk Islander are processed.

 

44.  Item 11 is a consequential amendment to subsection 99(5) to provide that once a person is enrolled, the validity of their enrolment can not be questioned on the grounds that prior to applying for enrolment the person had not in fact lived at the relevant address in the Subdivision for a period of one month.

 

45.  These amendments implement recommendation 7 of the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 2 items 12 to 15 - Enrolment in respect of an address (provisional enrolment by applicant for citizenship, and age 17 enrolment)

 

46.  Items 12 to 14 amend section 99A to provide that where a person is not eligible for enrolment as the person is not an Australian citizen, but has applied for citizenship (which is pending), and would otherwise be entitled for enrolment in respect of residence at an address within a Subdivision, the person may make a claim for provisional enrolment.

 

47.  Item 15 amends section 100 to provide that where a person is 17 years of age and would otherwise be entitled to enrolment in respect of residence at an address within a Subdivision if he or she were 18 years of age, the person may make a claim to have his or her name placed on the roll.

 



48.  These amendments are consequential to the proposed amendments at items 5 to 10 and 17 to 19 providing that enrolment will be in respect of an address rather than for a Subdivision.

 

Schedule 2 item 16 - Compulsory Transfer of Enrolment

 

49.  The proposed amendment repeals and substitutes a new section 101(5) of the CEA to provide that where an elector changes their place of living from one address within a Subdivision to another address within the same Subdivision, and has lived at the new address for a period of one month, the elector must provide to the DRO written notice of the new address within 21 days (that is, within 21 days after having resided at the new address for one month).

 

50.  These amendments are consequential to the proposed amendments at items 5 to 10 and 17 to 19 providing that enrolment will be in respect of an address rather than for a Subdivision.

 

Schedule 2 item 20 - ‘Silent’ enrolment

 

51.  The proposed amendment adds a new subsection 10 to section 104 of the CEA to provide that where the address of an elector is not shown on the roll due to a request made under subsections 104(1) and (2) (also known as ‘silent’ enrolment), the person is still taken to be enrolled for the ‘silent’ address.

 

52.  This provision is designed to ensure that, consequential to the proposed amendments relating to enrolment in respect of an address, the objection provisions work consistently across all enrolment types - that where it can be shown that a person with ‘silent’ enrolment no longer lives at their enrolled address (whether or not that address is actually shown on the roll), and has not lived at that address for a period of at least one month, the person’s enrolment may be objected to.

 

Schedule 2 items 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 46 - Alteration of rolls

 

53.  These amendments allow a DRO to alter the roll for a Subdivision in response to a written notice given by an elector already enrolled in that Subdivision, and provide that where an address altered under paragraphs 105(1)(ba) or (h) (that is, in response to a written notice, or due to the changing of the name of a street or any other part of an address) the CEA will have effect as if the elector’s name had been placed on the roll in respect of the new address.  If the alteration is to be made under paragraph 105(1)(ba) (that is, in response to a written notice provided by the elector), the DRO must be satisfied that the elector has resided at the new address for a period of at least one month.

 

54.  Item 25 provides that if the DRO receives written notice from an elector of a change of address within a Subdivision after the issue of the writ and during the postponement period, the address of the elector is not to be changed until after the postponement period.  The postponement period is defined for this purpose as commencing at 8pm on the day on which the rolls close (which is currently seven days after the issue of the writ, but is to be amended by Schedule 1 item 11 of this Bill to 8pm three working days after the issue of the writ), and will end at the close of polling.

 

Schedule 2 item 26 - Antarctic Electors

 

55.  This amendment inserts a definition of Antarctic elector in Part IX of the CEA (the part dealing with objections to the roll).  This definition is the same as that in Part XVII.  This is consequential to the amendments at items 10 to 18 to ensure that the AEC is not required to object to the enrolment of a person registered as an Antarctic elector, as the AEC is aware that the Antarctic elector will be absent from their enrolled address for a period of time.

 

Schedule 2 items 27 to 36 - Objections to enrolment

 

56.  Items 27 to 36 amend the objection provisions of the CEA so that an objection to an elector’s enrolment (whether an official or private objection) can take place on the ground that the elector no longer lives at their enrolled address, and has not lived at their enrolled address for a period of at least one month last past.  Under current legislation, an elector’s enrolment can be objected to on the ground that the person is not entitled to be enrolled for the Subdivision - that is, does not live in the Subdivision and has not lived in the Subdivision for at least one month, or does not meet the enrolment qualifications on other grounds.  These amendments expand on these provisions, so that non-residence at the enrolled address (even where it can be shown that the elector has moved within the Subdivision) is now a ground for objection, except where the elector is enrolled as an Antarctic elector.  An objection must not be made to an elector’s enrolment on the ground that the elector no longer qualifies for enrolment for the Subdivision (under subsection 114(1) for private objections, and 114(2) for official objections), if the objection could be made on the ground that the person no longer lives at their enrolled address.  That is, if the elector no longer lives at their enrolled address, as well as no longer living within their enrolled Subdivision, any objection to their enrolment must be made on the ground that they no longer live at their enrolled address.

 

57.  These items are related to Schedule 2 items 1 to 6 (Enrolment in respect of an address), in that it is proposed that an elector will be enrolled in a Subdivision in respect of living at an address within that Subdivision, and where the elector does not live at that address, their enrolment may be objected to.

 

58.  Item 29 provides that a person enrolled for the same Subdivision may object to an elector’s enrolment (defined as a ‘private objection’) on the basis that the elector no longer lives at their enrolled address, and has not done so for one month last past.  Item 30 provides that the DRO for the Division must object to an elector’s enrolment (defined as an ‘official objection’) where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the elector does not live at their enrolled address, and has not lived at that address for a period of one month last past.

 



59.  Item 34 provides that where an elector’s name has been placed on the roll in respect of a particular address, an objection has been lodged, and the elector does not live at the address and has not lived at the address for at least the last month, the DRO will be required to remove the elector’s name from the roll for that Subdivision, providing the elector is not enrolled as an Antarctic elector.

 

60.  Antarctic electors have been excluded as they are able to remain on the roll at their enrolled address if they have registered with the AEC as working in Antarctica.  Therefore neither an elector, nor a DRO can object to their enrolment on the basis that they are not living at their enrolled address.

 

61.  These amendments also implement recommendation 7 the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 2 items 37 and 38 - Transitional provisions

 

62.  Item 37 provides that where a person’s name and address was on the roll for a Subdivision immediately before the commencement of this item, the CEA will have effect after commencement of these provisions as if the person’s name had been placed on the roll in respect of that address.  As section 4 of the RMPA states that the entitlement to vote at a referendum is the same as if the referendum were an election, the RMPA will also have effect after commencement of these provisions as if the person’s name had been placed on the roll in respect of that address.

 

63.  Item 37 is inserted to avoid doubt.  This item does not freeze the electoral roll at the time of commencement - the removal or deletion of a person’s name from the roll and alteration of the roll in accordance with the CEA are not prevented by this item.

 

64.  Item 38 provides that any objection action under Part IX of the CEA that had begun prior to the commencement of this item shall continue until finalised as if the amendments to Part IX had not been made.

 

Schedule 2 items 39 to 45, and 47 to 52 - Provisional voting in elections and referendums

 

65.  These amendments provide that if an elector casts a provisional vote at an election because the elector’s name has been removed from the roll since the last election by objection on the ground that they no longer lived at their enrolled address (as outlined in Schedule 2 items 10 to 18 - Objections to enrolment), and after making enquiry the DRO is satisfied that the elector has moved within the Division they were enrolled for without re-enrolling, their provisional vote for both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be admitted to scrutiny.  If the elector has moved outside the Division they were enrolled for, but is still residing within the same State or Territory, their provisional vote for the Senate only will be admitted.  If the elector has moved outside the State or Territory they were enrolled for, their provisional vote will not be admitted (that is, neither the House of Representatives nor Senate ballot paper will be counted).

 



66.  If an elector casts a provisional vote at a referendum because the elector’s name had been removed from the roll since the last election due to objection action on the ground that they no longer live at their enrolled address (as outlined in Schedule 2 items 10 to 18 - Objections to enrolment), and after making enquiry the DRO is satisfied that the elector has moved either within the Division or within the State or Territory they were enrolled for without re-enrolling, their provisional vote will be admitted to scrutiny (that is, the Referendum ballot paper will be counted).

 

67.  In all cases the elector’s provisional vote will not be admitted to scrutiny if there has been a redistribution of the State or Territory that includes the Division since the last election, or an election (excluding the election to which the scrutiny relates) has been held since the removal of the elector’s name from the roll.

 

68.  Further, the AEC will no longer be required to reinstate the name of an elector whose provisional vote has been accepted for further scrutiny (that is, an elector whose ballot papers will be counted) to the roll.  The elector will be required to complete a new enrolment form to re-enrol.

 

69.  These amendments implement recommendation 39 of the Government’s Response to the JSCEM report on the 1998 Federal Election.

 

Schedule 3 - Technical corrections

 

Schedule 3 items 1 and 2 - Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 .

 

70.  It should be noted that the amendments do not amend either the CEA or RMPA, they amend the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 only.

 

71.  Items 1 and 2 make technical amendments to items 764 and 765 of Schedule 1 of the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 which came into effect on 5 December 1999.

 

72.  Items 764 and 765 amended the definition of “authorized witness” in section 3 of the RMPA.  However , the amendments contained in the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Act 1999 incorrectly spelt “authori s ed” with an “s” rather than as “authori z ed” with a “z”.  Therefore, the amendments were not technically correct.

 

73.  Items 1 and 2 of Schedule 3 correct this error.