Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Act No. 111 of 2012 as made
An Act to amend the law relating to elections and referendums, and for related purposes
Administered by: Finance
Originating Bill: Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill 2012
Registered 26 Jul 2012
Date of Assent 24 Jul 2012
Table of contents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Act 2012

 

No. 111, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

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

  

  


Contents

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

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

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

Schedule 1—Enrolment without claim                                                                      3

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                         3

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984                                                      7

Schedule 2—Declaration votes and objection action                                        8

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918                                                                         8

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984                                                    10

 


 

 

Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Act 2012

No. 111, 2012

 

 

 

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

[Assented to 24 July 2012]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Act 2012.

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

Provision(s)

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.

24 July 2012

2.  Schedule 1

The later of:

(a) the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent; and

(b) immediately after the commencement of Schedule 2 to the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Act 2012.

However, the provision(s) do not commence at all if the event mentioned in paragraph (b) does not occur.

25 July 2012

3.  Schedule 2

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

25 July 2012

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  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.

Schedule 1Enrolment without claim

  

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

1  Section 87

After “103A”, insert “or 103B”.

2  At the end of subsection 98(1)

Add:

Note:          Names may also be added to Rolls in some circumstances without making a claim or giving notice (see sections 103A and 103B).

3  Subsection 101(8)

After “103A”, insert “or 103B”.

4  After section 103A

Insert:

103B  Enrolling unenrolled person without claim or notice from the person

Application

             (1)  This section applies if the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that a person:

                     (a)  is entitled to enrolment; and

                     (b)  has lived at an address (the proposed enrolment address) in a Subdivision (the relevant Subdivision) for at least one month; and

                     (c)  the person is not enrolled.

Notice of proposed action to enrol a person

             (2)  The Electoral Commissioner may give the person a notice in writing setting out the date of the notice, the proposed enrolment address and the fact that the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that the person lives at that address and stating:

                     (a)  that the Electoral Commissioner proposes to enter the person’s name and other particulars required by section 83 on the Roll for the relevant Subdivision (the proposed action); and

                     (b)  that the Electoral Commissioner will not take the proposed action if satisfied by information given by the person to the Electoral Commissioner within 28 days after the date of the notice that the person:

                              (i)  does not live at the proposed enrolment address; or

                             (ii)  is not entitled to enrolment.

Taking action to enrol a person

             (3)  The Electoral Commissioner may take the proposed action unless satisfied by information given by the person to the Electoral Commissioner within 28 days after the notice that the person:

                     (a)  does not live at the proposed enrolment address; or

                     (b)  is not entitled to enrolment.

             (4)  The Electoral Commissioner may take the proposed action before the end of the 28 days if the person indicates to the Electoral Commissioner within that period that the person:

                     (a)  does live at the proposed enrolment address; and

                     (b)  is entitled to enrolment.

             (5)  Despite subsections (3) and (4), the Electoral Commissioner must not take the proposed action within a period:

                     (a)  starting at 8 pm on the day of the close of the Rolls for an election to be held in a Division to which the Roll for the relevant Subdivision relates; and

                     (b)  ending on the close of the poll for the election.

Notice that action has or has not been taken

             (6)  If the Electoral Commissioner takes the proposed action, or decides not to take that action, the Electoral Commissioner must give the person notice in writing of:

                     (a)  the action or the decision; and

                     (b)  the person’s full name and address as entered on the Roll for the person (if applicable).

             (7)  If:

                     (a)  under subsection (6) the Electoral Commissioner gives the person notice in writing of the action; and

                     (b)  the Electoral Commissioner has received a claim for enrolment in respect of the relevant address;

the Electoral Commissioner need not give the person notice under subparagraph 102(1)(b)(ii).

Electronic notification

             (8)  A notice may be given under this section by an electronic communication as defined in the Electronic Transactions Act 1999, whether or not the person consents as described in paragraph 9(2)(d) of that Act. This does not limit the ways the notice may be given.

5  Paragraph 104(9)(a)

Omit “120(3)”, substitute “120(5)”.

6  Subsections 120(1) to (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (1)  A person notified of a reviewable decision made in relation to the person may apply, in writing, to the Electoral Commissioner for a review of the decision.

             (2)  For the purposes of this section, a decision by the Electoral Commissioner mentioned in an item in the following table is a reviewable decision in relation to the person mentioned in that item:

 

Reviewable decisions

Item

Reviewable decision

1

A decision under section 93A to refuse to include a person’s name in a Roll.

2

A decision under section 95 to refuse an application under subsection 95(1) by a person to have his or her name placed on a Roll and be treated as an eligible overseas elector.

3

A decision under section 98A to refuse to include in a Roll, or transfer to a Roll, a person’s name.

4

A decision under subsection 102(1) to reject a person’s claim for enrolment, for transfer of enrolment, or for age 16 enrolment.

5

A decision under subsection 103A(3) or (4) to take action to update or transfer a person’s enrolment.

6

A decision under subsection 103B(3) or (4) to take action to enrol a person.

7

A decision under subsection 104(4) to refuse a request under subsection 104(1) or (2) that a person’s address not be entered on a Roll or that it be deleted from a Roll.

8

A decision under subsection 104(8) that a person’s address should be entered on the Roll.

9

A decision under section 105 to alter an entry on the Roll for a person (including a decision to add or remove a person’s name from a Roll).

10

A decision under section 116 or 118 to dismiss an objection made by a person or, because of subsection 118(1A), not to determine an objection made by a person.

11

A decision under section 118, on an objection, to remove a person’s name from the Roll.

12

A decision under section 185 to refuse to register a person as a general postal voter.

13

A decision under subsection 185C(1) to cancel a person’s registration as a general postal voter.

             (3)  An application under subsection (1) may only be made before the end of the period of 28 days starting on the day on which notice is given as mentioned in that subsection.

7  Subsection 120(4)

Omit “, (2) or (3)”.

8  Paragraph 120(4)(a)

Omit “the decision (the reviewable decision) to which the request relates”, substitute “the reviewable decision”.

9  Paragraph 121(1)(g)

Omit “section 118”, substitute “section 116 or 118”.

10  Paragraph 390(1)(a)

After “103A”, insert “or 103B”.

11  Paragraph 390(1)(a)

After “103A(2)”, insert “or 103B(2)”.

12  Paragraph 390(1)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  to disclose or communicate to a court any matter or thing that has come under the person’s notice in the performance of duties or functions under this Act in relation to:

                              (i)  a claim for enrolment (including a provisional claim for enrolment) or transfer of enrolment under this Act; or

                             (ii)  anything done under subsection 103A(2), (3), (4) or (6), or subsection 103B(2), (3), (4) or (6).

13  At the end of subsection 390(1)

Add:

Note:          Section 103A deals with updating or transferring a person’s enrolment, and section 103B deals with enrolling an unenrolled person, without a claim or notice from the person.

14  Subsection 390A(1)

After “103A”, insert “or 103B”.

15  Subsection 390A(1)

After “103A(2)”, insert “or 103B(2)”.

16  At the end of subsection 390A(1)

Add:

Note:          Section 103A deals with updating or transferring a person’s enrolment, and section 103B deals with enrolling an unenrolled person, without a claim or notice from the person.

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

17  After paragraph 4(2)(aa)

Insert:

                   (ab)  a name must not be entered on a roll under section 103B of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 during the suspension period; and


 

Schedule 2Declaration votes and objection action

  

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

1  Subsection 105(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  The Electoral Commissioner may enter the name of an elector who is not enrolled, and who has made a declaration vote, on the Roll for the Subdivision in which the elector was living at the time of voting if:

                     (a)  at a preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes conducted in accordance with Schedule 3:

                              (i)  the envelope containing the elector’s ballot paper meets the requirements of paragraph 6 of that Schedule (about ballot papers being properly issued); and

                             (ii)  paragraph 12 of that Schedule (about omissions from a Roll due to error or a mistake of fact) applies to the envelope; or

                     (b)  at a preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes conducted in accordance with Schedule 4 to the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984:

                              (i)  the envelope containing the elector’s ballot paper meets the requirements of paragraph 6 of that Schedule (about ballot papers being properly issued); and

                             (ii)  paragraph 11 of that Schedule (about omissions from a Roll due to error or a mistake of fact) applies to the envelope.

2  Paragraphs 10 and 11 of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

            10.  If the preliminary scrutiny relates to a Senate election held concurrently with a House of Representatives election or a Senate election held alone, the DRO must divide the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6 into groups as follows:

                     (a)  in one group:

                              (i)  the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are enrolled for the Division or whose claims for enrolment are claims to which subsection 102(5) of the Act applies; and

                             (ii)  the envelopes to which paragraph 12 applies and that bear certificates or declarations by persons who, at the time of the omission referred to in that paragraph, were living at an address in the Division;

                     (b)  in another group:

                              (i)  the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are not enrolled for the Division but are enrolled for the State or Territory in which the Division is situated; and

                             (ii)  the envelopes to which paragraph 12 applies and that bear certificates or declarations by persons who, at the time of the omission referred to in that paragraph, were not living at an address in the Division but were living at an address in the State or Territory in which the Division is situated;

                     (c)  in another group, all the other envelopes.

            11.  If the preliminary scrutiny relates to a House of Representatives election not held concurrently with a Senate election, the DRO must divide the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6 into groups as follows:

                     (a)  in one group:

                              (i)  the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are enrolled for the Division or whose claims for enrolment are claims to which subsection 102(5) of the Act applies; and

                             (ii)  the envelopes to which paragraph 12 applies and that bear certificates or declarations by persons who, at the time of the omission referred to in that paragraph, were living at an address in the Division;

                     (b)  in another group, all the other envelopes.

3  Subparagraph 12(b) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                     (b)  after making enquiry:

                              (i)  that the elector was, at the time of voting, entitled to be enrolled for the Division; and

                             (ii)  that the omission of the elector’s name from the Roll for the Division was due to an error made by an officer or to a mistake of fact.

4  Paragraphs 15 and 16 of Schedule 3

Omit “10(d) and 11(c)”, substitute “10(c) and 11(b)”.

5  Paragraph 18 of Schedule 3

Omit “10(a) or (b) or 11(a) or (b)”, substitute “10(a) or 11(a)”.

6  Paragraph 19 of Schedule 3

Omit “10(c)”, substitute “10(b)”.

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

7  Paragraph 10 of Schedule 4

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

            10.  The DRO must divide the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6 into groups as follows:

                     (a)  in one group:

                              (i)  the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are enrolled for the State or Territory in which the Division is situated (whether or not for the Division itself); and

                             (ii)  the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons whose claims for enrolment are claims to which subsection 102(5) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 applies; and

                            (iii)  the envelopes to which paragraph 11 of this Schedule applies and that bear certificates or declarations by persons who, at the time of the omission referred to in that paragraph, were living at an address in the State or Territory in which the Division is situated (whether or not in the Division itself);

                     (b)  in another group, all the other envelopes.

8  Subparagraph 11(b) of Schedule 4

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                     (b)  after making enquiry:

                              (i)  that the elector was, at the time of voting, entitled to be enrolled for the Division; and

                             (ii)  that the omission of the elector’s name from the Roll for the Division was due to an error made by an officer or to a mistake of fact.

9  Paragraph 13 of Schedule 4

Omit “election” (first occurring), substitute “election”.

10  Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Schedule 4

Omit “10(d)”, substitute “10(b)”.

11  Paragraphs 16 and 17 of Schedule 4

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

            16.  The DRO must, after the close of voting in the Division, without unfolding or inspecting them or allowing any other person to do so:

                     (a)  withdraw the ballot‑papers from envelopes referred to in subparagraph 10(a); and

                     (b)  place those ballot papers in a ballot‑box by themselves for further scrutiny.

12  Paragraph 19 of Schedule 4

Omit “paragraph 17”, substitute “paragraph 16”.


 

 

 

[Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 15 February 2012

Senate on 22 March 2012]

(16/12)