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Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016

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2013-2014-2015-2016

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Finance and Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann)



AMENDMENTS TO THE COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016

(Government)

OUTLINE

The purpose of these amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 (‘the Bill’) is to provide for a count of above the line first preference votes on Senate ballot papers by Assistant Returning Officers and Divisional Returning Officers, and the transmission of the number of first preference votes to Australian Electoral Officers.

The Bill proposes to remove requirements for Assistant Returning Officers to conduct a count of first preference votes. The amendments will reinstate a requirement that counting of first preference Senate votes above the line commences after polling closes. This will provide an earlier indication of first preference votes for the public.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The proposed amendments will not have a financial impact.



 

AMENDMENT TO THE COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

Amendment (1)

This amendment amends proposed subsection 273(2), inserted by item 29 of Schedule 1 of Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 (the Bill), to include new paragraph 273(2)(ca). New paragraph 273(2)(ca) includes a requirement that each Assistant Returning Officer count the number of first preference votes on Senate ballot papers marked in each of the squares above the line.

Amendment (2)

This amendment amends proposed paragraph 273(2)(d), inserted by item 29 of Schedule 1 of the Bill, to require each Assistant Returning Officer to include the number of first preference votes counted in accordance with new paragraph 273(2)(ca) (see amendment (1)) in the statement that they are required to make, sign and keep following that counting.

Amendment (3)

This amendment amends proposed subsection 273(2), inserted by item 29 of Schedule  1 of the Bill, to include new paragraph 273(2)(da). New paragraph 273(2)(da) includes a requirement that each Assistant Returning Officer transmit the number of first preference votes marked in each of the squares above the line to the Divisional Returning Officer as soon as practicable.

Amendment (4)

This amendment amends proposed subparagraph 273(3)(a)(ii), inserted by item 29 of Schedule  1 of the Bill, to provide that each Divisional Returning Officer is required to check the accuracy of the statements made by an Assistant Returning Officer under paragraph 273(2)(d) (see amendment (2)) about the number of first preference votes marked in each of the squares above the line. The method by which the Divisional Returning Officer is required to do this is to carry out the same steps that an Assistant Returning Officer is required to carry out as set out in paragraph 273(2)(ca) (see amendment (1)).

Amendment (5)

This amendment amends proposed subparagraph 273(3)(a)(iii), inserted by item 29 of Schedule  1 of the Bill, to require each Divisional Returning Officer to transmit the number of first preference votes marked in each of the squares above the line to the Australian Electoral Officer for the State that includes the Division.

Amendment (6)

This amendment amends proposed subparagraph 273(3)(b), inserted by item 29 of Schedule  1 of the Bill, to require each Divisional Returning Officer who receives ballot boxes not opened by an Assistant Returning Officer to count the number of first preference votes above the line in accordance with paragraph 273(2)(ca) (see amendment (1)), include the number of first preference votes counted in accordance with new paragraph 273(2)(ca) in the statement that they are required to make, sign and keep following that counting (see amendment (2)), and transmit the number of first preference votes marked in each of the squares above the line to the Australian Electoral Officer for the State that includes the Division (see amendment (3)).