Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for South Australia
The Hon Ben Morton MP
Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters
Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
The Morrison Government will provide $24.4 million to further modernise the Australian electoral system, providing further safeguards to protect the integrity of federal elections and improving services to Australian voters.
The funding will support the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to expand their use of Electronic Certified Lists (ECLs) in all mobile booths, pre-poll booths and high volume polling locations on election day. The ECL is a portable electronic device containing the Electoral Roll, which is used to mark off voters at polling booths in real-time.
Minster for Finance Simon Birmingham said the funding boost was part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to continuously improving the electoral process in Australia as technology advances.
“This funding will provide the AEC with an additional 500 ECL devices ahead of the next federal election, and an additional 5,000 devices for the election after that, to support the development of more efficient voting systems,” Minister Birmingham said.
“It will also help the AEC to streamline the voting experience by making it easier to find voters against the correct address, while also providing further safeguards to prevent voter fraud.
“It is another step in assisting the AEC to stay at the forefront of electoral technology, whilst also helping to make the voting process more efficient for Australians.”
Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters Ben Morton said the funding would also support the development of a new secure communications tool for Officers In Charge at polling places, to help connect AEC staff at polling booths around the country.
“As our voting system evolves, it is important that the AEC continues to support Australian voters and these communication tools will increase reporting capabilities and improve logistical coordination,” Assistant Minister Morton said.
“The AEC will pilot the new technology at a number of select locations at the next federal elections and if successful, it will be rolled out to a further 1,300 locations for the following election.”
“This is another great step in the process of modernising our electoral system.”