Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2020

2019-2020

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2020

 

No.      , 2020

 

(Finance)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to electoral matters, and for related purposes

   

   



Contents

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

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

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments relating to gifts, voting and scrutiny processes             3

Part 1—Amendments commencing day after Royal Assent                      3

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                          3

Part 2—Amendments commencing on Proclamation                                  13

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                        13

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984                                                     30

Schedule 2—Amendments relating to a Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory                                                                                                                             43

Part 1—Amendments                                                                                                   43

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                        43

Part 2—Application and transitional provisions                                             45

 

 



A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to electoral matters, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1   Short title

                   This Act is the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Act 2020 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1, Part 1

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

3.  Schedule 1, Part 2

A day or days to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if any of the provisions do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period.

 

4.  Schedule 2

A day or days to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if any of the provisions do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3   Schedules

                   Legislation 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.



Note:       See section 209.

FORM E

(1)  Here, or below the square, 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, or below the square, insert the name of a registered political party if to be printed.

(4)  Here, or below the square, 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 the logo of a registered political party if to be printed.

*     If the ballot paper has 6 or fewer squares above the line, replace the instruction with “By numbering these boxes in the order of your choice (with number 1 as your first choice)”.

** If the ballot paper has 12 or fewer squares below the line, replace the instruction with “By numbering these boxes in the order of your choice (with number 1 as your first choice)”.



142  Paragraph 6(d) of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph.

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

143  Subsection 3(1) (definition of Antarctic elector )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

Antarctic elector means an elector who is, in the course of the elector’s employment:

                     (a)  in Antarctica; or

                     (b)  on a ship at sea in transit to or from Antarctica.

144  Subsection 3(1)

Repeal the following definitions:

                     (a)  the definition of Antarctic Returning Officer ;

                     (b)  the definition of Assistant Antarctic Returning Officer .

145  Subsection 3(1) (definition of officer )

Omit “an Antarctic Returning Officer, an Assistant Antarctic Returning Officer,”.

146  Subsection 3(1)

Repeal the following definitions:

                     (a)  the definition of research personnel ;

                     (b)  the definition of station .

147  Subsections 3(6) and (7)

Repeal the subsections.

148  At the end of Part I

Add:

6A   AEC staff may act as Divisional Returning Officers or Assistant Divisional Returning Officers

             (1)  The Electoral Commissioner may, in writing, authorise one or more persons who are members of the staff of the Electoral Commission to exercise or perform:

                     (a)  in relation to one or more specified Divisions, powers, functions or duties that are conferred on a Divisional Returning Officer for those Divisions; or

                     (b)  in relation to one or more specified Subdivisions, powers, functions or duties that are conferred on an Assistant Divisional Returning Officer for those Subdivisions.

             (2)  An authorisation:

                     (a)  may be made subject to conditions or limitations specified in the authorisation; and

                     (b)  does not limit the power of a Divisional Returning Officer or Assistant Divisional Returning Officer (as the case requires) to act in any matter.

Effect of authorisation relating to DROs

             (3)  If an authorisation is given in relation to the powers, functions or duties of a Divisional Returning Officer for a specified Division:

                     (a)  the person authorised in relation to the Division may exercise or perform any power, function or duty of a Divisional Returning Officer for the Division, subject to:

                              (i)  any condition or limitation under paragraph (2)(a); and

                             (ii)  any direction of a Divisional Returning Officer for the Division; and

                     (b)  a reference to a Divisional Returning Officer or DRO in this Act is taken to include a reference to the person.

Effect of authorisation relating to Assistant Divisional Returning Officers

             (4)  If an authorisation is given in relation to the powers, functions or duties of an Assistant Divisional Returning Officer for a specified Subdivision:

                     (a)  the person authorised in relation to the Subdivision may exercise or perform any power, function or duty of an Assistant Divisional Returning Officer for the Subdivision, subject to:

                              (i)  any condition or limitation under paragraph (2)(a); and

                             (ii)  any direction of an Assistant Divisional Returning Officer for the Subdivision, or of a Divisional Returning Officer for the Division in which the Subdivision is situated; and

                     (b)  a reference to an Assistant Divisional Returning Officer in this Act is taken to include a reference to the person.

Note:          As a result of subsection 6(4), the person authorised may also exercise or perform, in relation to the Subdivision, any power, function or duty of the Divisional Returning Officer for the Division in which the Subdivision is situated.

149  Paragraphs 16A(2)(h) and (j)

Repeal the paragraphs.

150  Section 16B

Repeal the section.

151  Section 20

Omit “booths shall”, substitute “booths must”.

152  Section 20

Omit “shall be furnished with a pencil for the use of voters”, substitute “must have an implement or method for voters to mark their ballot-papers”.

153  Paragraph 25(3)(a)

Omit “an officer”, substitute “a presiding officer or polling official”.

154  After section 25A

Insert:

25B   Administrative markings

             (1)  The Electoral Commissioner may also provide for a ballot-paper to be marked with any other mark that the Electoral Commissioner thinks fit to assist in the administration of the referendum.

             (2)  A mark under subsection (1) does not need to be printed in black typeface.

             (3)  To avoid doubt, this section does not authorise a mark to be made that enables the identification of an elector or that identifies the personal information (within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1988 ) of an elector.

Note:          An officer who marks a ballot paper enabling an elector to be identified may commit an offence under subsection 93(7).

155  Subsection 26(1)

Omit “officer shall”, substitute “officer or polling official must”.

156  Subsection 30(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  The presiding officer or a polling official must put to each person attending before the officer or official, and claiming to vote in a referendum or referendums (as the case requires), questions in order to ascertain:

                     (a)  the person’s full name; and

                     (b)  the person’s place of living; and

                     (c)  whether the person has voted before at the referendum or referendums (as the case requires).

157  Subsection 30(2)

Omit “the presiding officer shall”, substitute “the officer or official must”.

158  Subsection 30(4)

Omit “in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) do not satisfy the presiding officer”, substitute “under subsection (1) do not satisfy the officer or official”.

159  Subsection 30(4)

After “the officer”, insert “or official”.

160  Subsection 30(5)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (5)  A person’s claim to vote at a referendum must (subject to section 37) be rejected if:

                     (a)  questions are put to the person under subsection (1) and the person:

                              (i)  refuses to answer fully any of the questions; or

                             (ii)  answers a question so as to indicate that the person has voted before in the relevant referendum or referendums (as the case requires); and

                     (b)  the presiding officer is satisfied that subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii) applies in relation to the person.

Note:          Section 37 deals with provisional votes.

161  Subsections 31(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (2)  If the presiding officer or a polling official accepts under subsection (1) the answers by a person as sufficient to enable the person to vote at a referendum, the officer or official may, if the officer or official thinks fit, put to the person questions in order to ascertain whether the person has voted before in the referendum or referendums.

             (3)  If the person answers so as to indicate that the person has voted before in the referendum or referendums or does not answer, the person’s claim to vote must be rejected if the presiding officer is satisfied that this subsection applies.

162  Subsection 32(1)

After “presiding officer,”, insert “a polling official,”.

163  Subsection 33(1)

Omit “by the presiding officer”, substitute “by the officer or official”.

164  Subsection 33(2)

After “A presiding officer”, insert “or polling official”.

165  Subsection 34(1)

Omit “Immediately after handing a ballot paper”, substitute “If a ballot paper has been, or is to be, given”.

166  Paragraph 34(1)(b)

After “the person has been”, insert “, or is to be,”.

167  Subsection 34(2)

Omit “at a polling place shall”, substitute “or a polling official at a polling place must”.

168  Subsection 34(2)

Omit “and shall”, substitute “and must”.

169  Subsection 36(2)

After “presiding officer”, insert “or a polling official”.

170  Paragraph 36(2)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  another person who is either the presiding officer or a polling official; or

171  Subsection 36(3)

After “presiding officer” (first occurring), insert “or polling official”.

172  Subsection 36(3)

Omit “presiding officer” (second and third occurring), substitute “officer or official”.

173  Subsection 36(4)

After “presiding officer”, insert “or a polling official”.

174  Paragraph 36(4)(d)

Before “a polling official”, insert “another person who is either the presiding officer or”.

175  Paragraph 36A(3)(a)

Before “a polling official”, insert “the presiding officer or”.

176  Paragraph 36A(3)(b)

Omit “the polling official”, substitute “the officer or official”.

177  Subsection 36A(4)

Before “polling official”, insert “presiding officer or”.

178  Subsection 36A(5)

Omit “allow a polling official to mark and fold”, substitute “mark and fold, or allow a polling official to mark and fold,”.

179  Subsection 36A(6)

Omit “polling official how the voter wishes the polling official”, substitute “presiding officer or polling official how the voter wishes the officer or official”.

180  Subsection 36A(7)

Before “polling official”, insert “presiding officer or”.

181  Subsection 36A(8)

Before “polling official” (first occurring), insert “presiding officer or”.

182  Paragraph 36A(8)(d)

Before “a polling official”, insert “another person who is either the presiding officer or”.

183  Paragraph 37(1)(c)

After “presiding officer”, insert “or a polling official”.

184  Subparagraph 37(1)(c)(ii)

After “officer”, insert “or official”.

185  Subsection 37(3)

After “presence of”, insert “the presiding officer or”.

186  Subsection 37(4)

After “The”, insert “presiding officer or”.

187  Subsection 37(5)

After “the person,”, insert “the presiding officer or”.

188  Subsections 37(6) and (7)

Before “polling official”, insert “presiding officer or”.

189  Subsection 41(1)

Omit “at the polling booth at which the person is voting, or a voting officer within the meaning of Division 3 of Part IVA,”, substitute “, a voting officer within the meaning of Division 3 of Part IVA, or a polling official,”.

190  Subsection 41(1)

Omit “presiding officer or voting officer”, substitute “officer or official”.

191  Subsection 41(2)

After “officer” (wherever occurring), insert “or official”.

192  Subsection 41(3)

After “officer”, insert “or official”.

193  Subsection 46(4)

After “presiding officer”, insert “or a polling official”.

194  Subsection 46(5)

After “presiding officer”, insert “or polling official”.

195  Subsection 46A(1)

After “the presiding officer”, insert “or a polling official”.

196  Subsection 46A(5A) (note)

Omit “16B”, substitute “6A”.

197  Subsection 61(1)

Omit “in accordance with whichever of subsections (2), (2A) and (2B) of this section applies”, substitute “, as provided under subsection (2)”.

198  Subsections 61(2), (2A) and (2B)

Repeal the subsections (not including the note), substitute:

How material to be sent

             (2)  If the Electoral Commissioner or Assistant Returning Officer receives the application for a postal vote at or before 6 pm on the Wednesday that is 3 days before voting day in the referendum, the material required by subsection (1) must be sent to the applicant by a means that the Electoral Commissioner or Assistant Returning Officer considers to be the most reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

199  Subsection 73AA(1A) (note)

Omit “or in the office of the DRO for the Division”.

200  Paragraph 73A(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph.

201  Subsection 73B(1)

Repeal the subsection.

202  Section 73CC (definition of voting officer )

Omit “a DRO, or a pre-poll voting officer,”, substitute “a pre-poll voting officer”.

203  Paragraph 73CD(1)(b)

Omit “Division;”, substitute “Division.”.

204  Paragraph 73CD(1)(c)

Repeal the paragraph.

205  Section 73CE

Omit “There must be a pencil in each compartment for use by voters.”, substitute “Each compartment must have an implement or method for voters to mark their ballot-papers.”.

206  Subparagraph 73CG(2)(b)(ii)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                             (ii)  answers a question under subsection 73CI(1) so as to indicate that the person has voted before in the relevant referendum or referendums (as the case requires); or

207  Subsection 73CI(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  A voting officer must put to each person attending before the voting officer, and claiming to vote in a referendum or referendums (as the case requires), questions in order to ascertain:

                     (a)  the person’s full name; and

                     (b)  the person’s place of living; and

                     (c)  whether the person has voted before in the referendum or referendums (as the case requires).

208  Subsection 73CI(2)

Omit “in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b)”, substitute “under subsection (1)”.

209  Subsection 73CI(4)

Omit “the following question, namely, Have you already voted, either here or elsewhere, at this referendum (or these referendums, as the case requires)?”, substitute “questions in order to ascertain whether the person has voted before in the referendum or referendums (as the case requires).”.

210  Subsection 73CJ(3)

Omit “Immediately after giving the ballot-paper to the voter, the voting officer”, substitute “If a ballot-paper has been, or is to be, given to a voter, a voting officer”.

211  Paragraph 73CJ(3)(b)

After “has been”, insert “, or is to be,”.

212  Subsection 73F(1)

Repeal the subsection.

213  Paragraph 73F(2)(a)

Repeal the paragraph.

214  Subsection 73F(3)

Omit “made by a DRO under subsection (1) and records”.

215  Part IVB (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute: