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Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2010

Schedule 1 Amendment of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

1  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

group voting square means a square printed on the ballot papers for a Senate election in accordance with subsection 168(4) above the names of candidates who have made a request under subsection 168(1).

2  At the end of section 168

Add:

Group voting square

             (4)  If two or more candidates have made a request under subsection (1), a square must be printed on the ballot papers for use in the election above the names of those candidates.

3  Subsection 169(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  Where a request has been made under subsection (1) in respect of candidates in a Senate election, the request may include a further request that the name of the registered political party that endorsed the candidates be printed on the ballot papers adjacent to the square printed in relation to the group in accordance with subsection 168(4).

4  Subsection 210(2)

Repeal the subsection.

5  Subsection 210A(5)

Omit “subsection 211(5)”, substitute “subsection 168(4)”.

6  Section 211

Repeal the section.

7  Section 211A

Repeal the section.

8  Paragraph 214(2)(d)

Before “square” (first occurring), insert “group voting”.

9  Paragraph 214(2)(d)

Omit “subsection 211(5)”, substitute “subsection 168(4)”.

9A  At the end of paragraph 214(2)(d)

Omit “;”, substitute “.”.

10  Paragraph 214(2)(e)

Repeal the paragraph.

11  Section 216

Repeal the section.

12  Subsection 226(3)

Repeal the subsection.

13  Subparagraph 227(8)(a)(i)

Omit “, group voting tickets registered for the purposes of the election”.

14  Subsection 239(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  A vote may be marked on a ballot paper by:

                     (a)  writing the number 1 in a group voting square (if any) printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4); and

                     (b)  writing in the remaining group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4):

                              (i)  in the case of a Senate election—the numbers 2 to 7 at least if there are 7 or more group voting squares, or if there are less than 7 group voting squares, numbers in a sequence of consecutive numbers commencing with the number 2 to fill however many voting squares there are; or

                             (ii)  in the case of an election following a dissolution of the Senate—the numbers 2 to 13 at least if there are 13 or more group voting squares, or if there are less than 13 group voting squares, numbers in a sequence of consecutive numbers commencing with the number 2 to fill however many voting squares there are; and

                     (c)  if the voter wishes, by writing any additional consecutive numbers beginning with the number 8 or the number 14, as the case may be, in any remaining group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4).

15  Subsection 239(3)

Repeal the subsection.

16  Paragraph 268(1)(b)

Omit “subsection 270(1)”, substitute “subsections 270(1) and 270A(1)”.

17  Subsection 269(1)

           Omit “A ballot paper”, substitute “To avoid doubt, a ballot paper”.

18  Subsections 269(3) and (4)

Repeal the subsections.

Note:       The heading to section 269 is replaced by the heading “ Formal votes if vote recorded in group voting squares ”.

19  After section 270

Insert:

270A   Certain votes in group voting squares with non-consecutive numbers to be formal

             (1)  Where a ballot paper in a Senate election or in an election following a dissolution of the Senate:

                     (a)  has the number 1 in a group voting square printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4) and does not have that number in another group voting square printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4);

                     (b)  has:

                              (i)  in a case of a Senate election—in the group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4), numbers in a sequence of consecutive numbers commencing with the number 1 and ending with the number 7 or such lesser number as is provided for by subparagraph 239(2)(b)(i) or numbers that with changes to no more than 2 of them would be in such a sequence; or

                             (ii)  in the case of an election following a dissolution of the Senate—in the group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4), numbers in a sequence of consecutive numbers commencing with the number 1 and ending with the number 13 or such lesser number as is provided for by subparagraph 239(2)(b)(ii) or numbers that with changes to no more than 2 of them would be in such a sequence; and

                     (c)  but for this subsection, would be informal by virtue of paragraph 268(1)(b);

then:

                     (d)  the ballot paper is not informal by virtue of that paragraph;

                     (e)  the number 1 is taken to express the voter’s first preference vote in accordance with subsection 272(1);

                      (f)  where numbers in group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4) are in a sequence of consecutive numbers commencing with the number 1—the voter is taken to have expressed a preference by the other number, or to have expressed preferences by the other numbers, in that sequence in accordance with subsection 272(2) or (3), as the case may be; and

                     (g)  the voter is not taken to have expressed any other preference.

             (2)  In considering, for the purposes of subsection (1) whether numbers are in a sequence of consecutive numbers, any number that is repeated must be disregarded.

20  Section 272

Repeal the section, substitute:

272   Senate ballot papers deemed to be marked in accordance with group voting squares

             (1)  For the purposes of section 273, where a ballot paper in a Senate election has been marked in accordance with paragraph 239(2)(a) by the number 1 having been placed in a group voting square printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4), the ballot paper must be deemed to have been marked with a first preference vote for the first candidate included in the group on the ballot paper and subsequent preferences for all other candidates included in the group in the order of the names of the candidates in the group on the ballot paper.

             (2)  For the purposes of section 273, where a ballot paper in a Senate election has been marked in accordance with paragraph 239(2)(b) by the number 2 having been placed in another group voting square printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4), the ballot paper must be deemed to have been marked with the preference vote, immediately sequential to those referred to in subsection (1), for the first candidate included in that other group on the ballot paper and subsequent preferences for all other candidates included in that other group in the order of the names of the candidates in the group on the ballot paper.

             (3)  For the purposes of section 273, where a ballot paper in a Senate election has been marked in accordance with paragraph 239(2)(b) or (c) by the number 3 and subsequent numbers, as the case requires, having been placed in other group voting squares printed on the ballot paper under subsection 168(4), the ballot paper must be deemed to have been marked with the preference votes, immediately sequential to those referred to in subsections (1) and (2):

                     (a)  in the case of the group voting square marked by the number 3—for the first candidate included in that group on the ballot paper and subsequent preferences for all other candidates included in that group in the order of the names of the candidates in the group on the ballot paper; and

                     (b)  in the case of the group voting squares marked by numbers subsequent to 3—for the first candidate included in the group under the next subsequently numbered group voting square and subsequent preferences for all other candidates included in that group in the order of the names of the candidates in the group on the ballot paper.

21  Paragraph 273(5)(f)

Omit “marked otherwise than in accordance with subsection 239(2)”.

22  Paragraph 273A(3)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  reject any of the wholly above-the-line ballot papers that are informal;

                    (aa)  arrange the unrejected ballot papers under the names of the respective candidates by placing under the name of each candidate:

                              (i)  in one parcel all the ballot papers on which a first preference is indicated for that candidate; and

                             (ii)  in another parcel all the ballot papers marked in accordance with subsection 239(2) by which a first preference is deemed under subsection 272(1) for that candidate;

23  Paragraph 273A(3)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  place in a parcel or parcels all the ballot papers received by the Divisional Returning Officer, other than the ballot papers rejected as informal;

24  Paragraph 273A(3)(f)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                      (f)  transmit to the Australian Electoral Officer information about the total number of ballot papers rejected as informal.

25  Subsection 273A(10) (paragraph (a) of the definition of wholly above-the-line ballot paper )

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  has one or more numbers in the group voting squares above the dividing line; and

26  Form E of Schedule 1

Omit “By placing the single figure 1 in one and only one of these squares to indicate the voting ticket you wish to adopt as your vote”, substitute “By placing at least the numbers 1 to (8) in the order of your preference for the groups of candidates”.

27  Form E of Schedule 1 (at the end of the footnotes)

Add:

                (8) Here insert:

(a)              in the case of a Senate election—“7” if there are 7 or more groups, and if there are less than 7 groups, however many groups there are;

(b)              in the case of an election following a dissolution of the Senate—“13” if there are 13 or more groups, and if there are less than 13 groups, however many groups there are.