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Bill introduced to improve accuracy of electoral roll

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Media Release

GG 61/11 23 November 2011

Bill introduced to improve accuracy of Electoral Roll

Special Minister of State Gary Gray today introduced legislation that will deliver a more accurate electoral roll.

The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011 specifically deals with ensuring an elector’s most current and accurate residential address is recorded on the roll.

The reform will allow the Electoral Commissioner to directly update an elector’s enrolled address following receipt and analysis of reliable and current data sources from outside the Electoral Commission.

Currently, the Electoral Commission receives advice from government agencies of changes of address details. The information is used to remove a person from the roll - but the law does not permit the commission to record the same elector at the new address.

This has had a detrimental effect on electoral participation through reducing enrolment rates.

The Bill will permit the commission to record the elector at the latest address - only after the Electoral Commissioner has notified an elector of the proposed new residential address to give the elector the opportunity to object to the change of address.

The Bill is consistent with legislation that has been operating in Victoria and New South Wales for a number of years and will stop the divergence and inconsistency that is occurring between state and Commonwealth electoral rolls.

“The Bill will assist in meeting the urgent need to arrest the decline in enrolment rates across Australia by ensuring the federal electoral roll is as current and accurate as possible,” Mr Gray said.

The Bill will not provide the capacity to directly enrol new electors. Persons who are not on the roll will need to enrol in accordance with the current requirements in the Electoral Act.

Media Contact: Website:

John Arthur - 0408 991 261