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Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2001

 

 

 

 

Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act (No. 1) 2001

 

No. 34, 2001



 

 

 

 

Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act (No. 1) 2001

 

No. 34, 2001

 

 

 

 

An Act to amend the law relating to elections and referendums, and for related purposes

   

   



Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 1

3............ Schedule(s).......................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1—Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                   3

Part 1—Amendments                                                                                                       3

Part 2—Transitional provisions                                                                                   24

Schedule 2—Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984                       27

 



Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act (No. 1) 2001

No. 34, 2001

 

 

 

An Act to amend the law relating to elections and referendums, and for related purposes

[ Assented to 28 April 2001 ]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act (No. 1) 2001 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

3   Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.



 



Section 209            

FORM E

 

SENATE BALLOT PAPER

(5)

                                                                                                                  ELECTION OF (6) SENATORS

You may vote in one of two ways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or

 

(2)

 

 

 

 or

 

or

 

(4)

 

or

 

(2)

 

or

 

(2)

 

(2)

 

either

 
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

A

B

C

D

 

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

(2)

B

(2)

C

(2)

D

(2)

E

F

(2)

Ungrouped

or

 

(1)

(4)

 

(1)

(4)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(4)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 

(1)

(3)

 
By placing the numbers 1 to (7) in the order of your preference

(1)

(3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)    Here insert name of a candidate.

(2)    Here insert name of a registered political party or composite name of registered political parties if to be printed.

(3)    Here insert the name of a registered political party if to be printed.

(4)    Here insert name of a registered political party or word ‘Independent’ if to be printed.

(5)    Here insert name of State or Territory and year of election.

(6)    Here insert number of vacancies.

(7)    Here insert number of candidates.



75  Form F in Schedule 1

Repeal the Form, substitute:

Section 209         

FORM F

 

BALLOT PAPER

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

[ here insert name of State or Territory as appropriate ]

Electoral Division of [ here insert name of Division ].

Number the boxes from 1 to [ here insert number of candidates ] in the order of your choice

 

1

2

 

[1       Here insert name of a candidate

 2       Here insert name of a registered political

1

2

 

party, composite name of registered political parties or “Independent” if to be printed. ]

1

2

 

 

1

2

 

 

Remember. . . . number every box to make your vote count.

76  Subparagraph 6(a) of Schedule 3

Omit “the signature purports to be witnessed by an authorised witness;”, substitute:

                            : (i)  the signature purports to be witnessed by an authorised witness; or

                             (ii)  the signature is taken to be witnessed by an authorised witness because of subsection 194(1A);

77  After paragraph 6 of Schedule 3

Insert:

            6A.  If the DRO is satisfied that more than one envelope that meets the requirements of paragraph 6 purports to contain a declaration vote by the same elector, the DRO must:

                     (a)  treat only one of the envelopes, as selected by the DRO, as meeting the requirements of paragraph 6; and

                     (b)  exclude from further scrutiny the ballot-papers contained in the other envelope or envelopes, without opening the envelope or envelopes; and

                     (c)  seal up in a parcel the envelope or envelopes excluded from further scrutiny by subparagraph (b); and

                     (d)  write on the parcel a description of its contents, the name of the Division and the date of the commencement of the preliminary scrutiny.

In applying subparagraph (a), the DRO should, to the extent that it is possible, select the envelope that was received first.

            6B.  Paragraphs 23 and 24 do not apply to envelopes excluded from further scrutiny because of subparagraph 6A(b).

78  Paragraph 7A of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

            7A.  A vote marked on a postal ballot-paper must be taken not to have been recorded prior to the close of the poll if:

                     (a)  in the case of a ballot-paper taken to be witnessed because of subsection 194(1A)—the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark; or

                     (b)  in any other case—the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark and the signature of the witness bears a date after polling day.

79  Paragraph 21 of Schedule 3

After “scrutiny,”, insert “other than because of subparagraph 6A(b),”.



 

Part 2 Transitional provisions

80  Abbreviations of party names already included in the Register

(1)        This item applies to a registered political party if:

                     (a)  immediately before this item commences, an abbreviation of the party’s name is included in the Register kept under section 125 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ; and

                     (b)  the abbreviation would not be able to be included in the Register after that time because of the amendment, made by item 1 of this Schedule, of the definition of abbreviation in subsection 4(1) of that Act.

(2)        For the period of 6 months starting when this item commences, the abbreviation is taken to be within that definition. However, that 6 month period does not include:

                     (a)  the day of the issue of a writ for a Senate election or a House of Representatives election; and

                     (b)  the day on which the writ is returned; and

                     (c)  any day between those days.

(3)        If the abbreviation remains in the Register after the 6 month period ends, the Electoral Commission must remove it from the Register and give written notice to the registered officer of the party.

81  Inappropriate names already included in Rolls

(1)        This item applies if:

                     (a)  before sections 93A and 98A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the CEA ) commence, a person’s name (the current name ) is included in a Roll, or transferred to a Roll, under a provision of the CEA; and

                     (b)  a Divisional Returning Officer (the DRO ) or Australian Electoral Officer (the AEO ) is of the view that if he or she were considering, after sections 93A and 98A of the CEA commence, whether to cause the current name to be included in, or transferred to, the Roll under the same provision, the DRO or AEO would refuse, under either of those sections, to cause the name to be included or transferred.

(2)        If:

                     (a)  there is another name under which the person has been included in a Roll; and

                     (b)  the DRO or AEO is of the view that if he or she were considering, after sections 93A and 98A of the CEA commence, whether to cause the other name to be included in the Roll or transferred to the Roll, the DRO or AEO would not refuse, under either of those sections, to cause it to be included or transferred;

            the DRO or AEO must cause the person’s current name to be removed from the Roll and replaced with the other name. If there is more than one other name to which paragraphs (a) and (b) apply, the current name must be replaced with the other name that was most recently included in the Roll.

(3)        If there is no name to which paragraphs (2)(a) and (b) apply, the DRO or AEO must request in writing that the person provide, within 20 days after the request is made, written evidence of a name, other than the current name, by which the person is or has been generally known in the community.

(4)        If a person complies with a request under subitem (3) and the DRO or AEO:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the person is or has been generally known in the community by a name other than the current name; and

                     (b)  is of the view that if he or she were considering, after sections 93A and 98A of the CEA commence, whether to cause the name by which the person is or has been generally known in the community to be included in the Roll or transferred to the Roll, the DRO or AEO would not refuse, under either of those sections, to cause it to be included or transferred;

            the DRO or AEO must cause the person’s current name to be removed from the Roll and replaced with the name by which the person is or has been generally known in the community.

(5)        The DRO or AEO must cause a person’s current name to be removed from the Roll, without being replaced with another name, if:

                     (a)  the person fails to comply with a request under subitem (3); or

                     (b)  the person complies with a request under subitem (3) but either or both of paragraphs (4)(a) and (b) do not apply.

(6)        The DRO or AEO must give written notice to a person if the person’s current name is removed from the Roll under this item and the notice must specify whether it is replaced with another name. For the purposes of sections 120 and 121 of the CEA, the notice is taken to be a notice under subsection 98A(4) of the CEA.



 

Schedule 2 Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

   

1  Subsection 3(1) (subparagraphs (b)(ii), (iii) and (iv) of the definition of authoriz ed witness )

Omit “part of the Queen’s dominions”, substitute “Commonwealth country”.

2  Subsection 26(1)

Omit “on the back”, substitute “on the top of the front”.

3  At the end of section 26

Add:

             (3)  To avoid doubt, this section also applies to a ballot-paper that is a photocopy of an original ballot-paper.

4  Subsection 45(4)

After “send”, insert “or deliver”.

5  Subsection 45(6)

Omit “to the elector, at the address mentioned in the list prepared under subsection (2),”, substitute “or deliver to the elector, at his or her latest known address,”.

6  Subsection 45(9)

Omit “to the elector, at the address mentioned in the list prepared under subsection (2),”, substitute “or deliver to the elector, at his or her latest known address,”.

7  Subsections 45(12) and (13)

After “sent” (wherever occurring), insert “or delivered”.

8  At the end of paragraph 55(1)(b)

Add “(but see subsection (3A))”.

9  After subsection 55(3)

Insert:

          (3A)  An application made outside Australia that does not meet the requirement in paragraph (1)(b) is taken to meet that requirement for the purposes of this Act if:

                     (a)  the application is accompanied by a signed statement by the applicant setting out why the applicant was unable to meet the requirement; and

                     (b)  the Assistant Returning Officer or DRO is satisfied that the applicant made reasonable efforts to comply with the requirement; and

                     (c)  the application is accompanied by a photocopy, that is certified by the applicant to be a true copy, of a part of the applicant’s passport that includes:

                              (i)  the country and date of issue and the number of the passport; and

                             (ii)  the applicant’s name, date of birth and signature; and

                            (iii)  a photograph of the applicant.

10  At the end of subsection 61(1)

Add:

Note:          An application may be taken to be properly witnessed because of subsection 55(3A).

11  After section 62

Insert:

62A   Access to electronic list of postal vote applicants

             (1)  This section only applies to postal vote applications in respect of a referendum if the voting day for the referendum is not the same as the polling day for an election.

Note:          If those days are the same, a person may be able to request a list of postal vote applicants under section 189A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 .

             (2)  A request for a list, in electronic form, of the postal vote applicants may be made to the Electoral Commission by:

                     (a)  a Senator for a State or Territory if the postal vote applications are in respect of any Division in that State or Territory; or

                     (b)  a member of the House of Representatives if the postal vote applications are in respect of the Division for which he or she is a member of the House of Representatives; or

                     (c)  a registered political party if the postal vote applications are in respect of a Division in a State or Territory on the basis of which a branch or division of the party is organised.

The request may be made on or after the third day after polling day and before the referendum can no longer be questioned.

             (3)  The Electoral Commission must, as soon as practicable, comply with such a request.

             (4)  The list may include the name and date of birth of a postal vote applicant and the address in respect of which the applicant claims to be enrolled.

             (5)  However, before providing the list to a person or party, the Electoral Commission must remove from it all information concerning a person whose address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , other than the person’s name.

62B   Restriction on use or disclosure of information

Use of information

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if the person:

                     (a)  uses information obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission; and

                     (b)  the use of the information is not for a permitted purpose (see subsections (4) and (5)).

Maximum penalty:    100 penalty units.

Disclosure of information

             (2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person discloses information; and

                     (b)  the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the information has been obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission; and

                     (c)  the disclosure would not be a use of the information for a permitted purpose (see subsections (4) and (5)).

Maximum penalty:    1,000 penalty units.

Use of information for a commercial purpose

             (3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person uses information for a commercial purpose; and

                     (b)  the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the information has been obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission.

Maximum penalty:    1,000 penalty units.

Permitted purposes

             (4)  If the list was provided by the Electoral Commission to a Senator or member of the House of Representatives, the permitted purposes are:

                     (a)  any purpose connected with an election or referendum; and

                     (b)  research about electoral matters; and

                     (c)  the monitoring of the accuracy of information contained in a Roll; and

                     (d)  the performance by the Senator or member of his or her functions as a Senator or member in relation to a person included in the list.

             (5)  If the list was provided by the Electoral Commission to a registered political party, the permitted purposes are:

                     (a)  any purpose connected with an election or referendum; and

                     (b)  research about electoral matters; and

                     (c)  the monitoring of the accuracy of information contained in a Roll; and

                     (d)  the performance by a Senator or member of the House of Representatives, who is a member of the party, of his or her functions as a Senator or member in relation to a person included in the list.

Definitions

             (6)  In this section:

election , as well as having the meaning given by subsection 3(1), also includes:

                     (a)  a State or Territory election; and

                     (b)  a local government election.

referendum , as well as having the meaning given by subsection 3(1), also includes a referendum conducted under a law of a State or Territory.

11A  Subsection 63(2)

Omit “back”, substitute “top of the front”.

12  After subsection 65(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  A postal vote by an elector outside Australia that does not meet the requirements in subsection (1) concerning an authorised witness is, despite that subsection, taken to meet those requirements for the purposes of this Act if:

                     (a)  the postal vote is accompanied by a signed statement by the elector setting out why the elector was unable to comply with those requirements; and

                     (b)  the DRO or officer dealing with the postal vote under section 67 is satisfied that the elector made reasonable efforts to comply with those requirements; and

                     (c)  the postal vote is accompanied by a photocopy, that is certified by the elector to be a true copy, of a part of the elector’s passport that includes:

                              (i)  the country and date of issue and the number of the passport; and

                             (ii)  the elector’s name, date of birth and signature; and

                            (iii)  a photograph of the elector.

12A  Subsection 73D(2)

Omit “back”, substitute “top of the front”.

12B  Paragraph 85(1)(a)

Omit “back”, substitute “top of the front”.

13  Subsections 85(1) and (2)

Omit “postal” (wherever occurring).

14  Paragraph 86(3)(b)

Omit “postal”.

15  Paragraph 121(1)(a)

Omit “(not being a post-office box)”.

16  Subsection 121(1A)

Omit “(not being a post office box)”.

17  At the end of section 121

Add:

             (5)  In this section:

address of a person means an address, including a full street address and suburb or locality, at which the person can usually be contacted during the day. It does not include a post office box.

18  Subsection 139(1)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court of Australia (the Federal Court )”.

19  Subsection 139(1)

Omit “the court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

20  Subsection 139(2)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

21  Subsection 139(3)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

22  Subsection 139(3)

Omit “the court” (twice occurring), substitute “the Federal Court”.

23  Subsection 139(4)

Omit “A prescribed court”, substitute “The Federal Court”.

24  Subsection 139(5)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

25  Subsection 139(5)

Omit “the court” (wherever occurring), substitute “the Federal Court”.

26  Subsection 139(6)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

27  Subsection 139(6)

Omit “the court” (wherever occurring), substitute “the Federal Court”.

28  Subsection 139(7)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

29  Subsection 139(7)

Omit “the court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

30  Subsection 139(8)

Repeal the subsection.

31  Subsection 139(9)

Omit “Federal Court of Australia from a judgment or order of a prescribed court”, substitute “High Court from a judgment or order of the Federal Court”.

32  Subsection 139(10)

Omit “a prescribed court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

33  Subsection 139(10)

Omit “the court”, substitute “the Federal Court”.

34  Subsection 139(11)

Repeal the subsection.

35  Form B in Schedule 1

Repeal the Form, substitute:

 

FORM B

 

Commonwealth of Australia

BALLOT-PAPER

[ Here insert name of State or Territory ]

Referendum on proposed Constitution alteration

DIRECTIONS TO VOTER

WRITE “YES” or “NO” in the space provided opposite the question set out below.

[ Here set out the title of the proposed law ]

DO YOU APPROVE THIS PROPOSED ALTERATION?             

 

`

36  Form C in Schedule 1

Repeal the Form, substitute:

FORM C

 

Commonwealth of Australia

BALLOT-PAPERS

[ Here insert name of State or Territory ]

Referendums on proposed Constitution alterations

DIRECTIONS TO VOTER

Write “YES” or “NO” in the space provided opposite each of the questions set out below.

___________________________________________________________

1. [ Here set out the title of the first proposed law        ]

DO YOU APPROVE THIS PROPOSED ALTERATION?           

___________________________________________________________

2. [ Here set out the title of the second proposed law ]

DO YOU APPROVE THIS PROPOSED ALTERATION?           

 

 

37  Subparagraph 6(a) of Schedule 4

Omit “the signature purports to be witnessed by an authorised witness;”, substitute:

                            : (i)  the signature purports to be witnessed by an authorised witness; or

                             (ii)  the signature is taken to be witnessed by an authorised witness because of subsection 65(1A);

38  After paragraph 6 of Schedule 4

Insert:

            6A.  If the DRO is satisfied that more than one envelope that meets the requirements of paragraph 6 purports to contain a declaration vote by the same elector, the DRO must:

                     (a)  treat only one of the envelopes, as selected by the DRO, as meeting the requirements of paragraph 6; and

                     (b)  exclude from further scrutiny the ballot-papers contained in the other envelope or envelopes, without opening the envelope or envelopes; and

                     (c)  seal up in a parcel the envelope or envelopes excluded from further scrutiny by subparagraph (b); and

                     (d)  write on the parcel a description of its contents, the name of the Division and the date of the commencement of the preliminary scrutiny.

In applying subparagraph (a), the DRO should, to the extent that it is possible, select the envelope that was received first.

            6B.  Paragraphs 19 and 20 do not apply to envelopes excluded from further scrutiny because of subparagraph 6A(b).

39  Paragraph 7A of Schedule 4

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

            7A.  A vote marked on a postal ballot-paper must be taken not to have been recorded prior to the close of voting if:

                     (a)  in the case of a ballot-paper taken to be witnessed because of subsection 65(1A)—the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark; or

                     (b)  in any other case—the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark and the signature of the witness bears a date after voting day.

40  Paragraph 18 of Schedule 4

After “scrutiny,”, insert “other than because of subparagraph 6A(b),”.

 



 

       

[ Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 7 March 2001

Senate on 2 April 2001 ]

 

(23/01)