The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has published the full report of its inquiry into the 2013 election, following on from interim reports that recommended an optional preferential above-the-line voting system for the Senate, and warned against going too far with electronic voting. The key points:
With dissent from Labor and the Greens, the report advocates a voter identification model along the lines of Queensland, in which those who cannot provide one of wide range of prescribed forms of identification must cast a declaration vote, to be admitted to the count only when it is established that the personal details claimed for match up with an entry on the electoral roll, and that no other votes were cast in that name.
Also with dissent from Labor and the Greens, the report recommends that confirmation be required from a person prior to their enrolment being added or updated by the automatic enrolment process introduced by the previous government.
The government should examine the future viability of the broadcast media blackout, by which advertising may not be carried on television or radio on the Thursday or Friday before polling day.
There is a recommendation that scrutineers should not be able to make repeated challenges to the same ballot paper at each stage of the count, which I presume relates to the Palmer United Party’s obstructive grandstanding during the count for Fairfax.
A range of measures are concerned with the Australian Electoral Commission tightening up its act, in response to the Western Australian Senate election debacle.
Pens, rather than pencils, should be provided in polling booths.