Contents

Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Program 1.1 Electoral roll management

Report on performance: Program 1.2 Election management and support services

Report on performance: Program 1.3 Education and communication

Management and accountability

Financial statements

Appendices

References

Electoral roll management

Updated: 17 October 2011

On this page:

Maintain multiple streams of contact with electors to encourage them to enrol and keep their enrolment up-to-date.

Overview

The electoral roll is the record of people entitled to vote at federal, state and territory, and local government elections. The AEC manages the electoral roll by:

  • preparing, maintaining and revising the electoral roll used for federal elections,
  • maintaining the electoral rolls for state, territory and local government elections, through joint roll arrangements,
  • making the electoral roll available for public inspection, and
  • providing roll products and services to authorities, people and organisations as specified under the Electoral Act.

Maximising the integrity of the electoral roll is integral to ensuring that Australia's democratic electoral processes function effectively. Key elements of integrity are:

  • completeness – all individuals who are entitled to be enrolled are enrolled,
  • accuracy – the individual is enrolled for the address at which they are entitled to be enrolled,
  • entitlement – the individual meets all legislative qualifications for enrolment on the electoral roll (information provided by the individual is tested to detect and prevent enrolment fraud), and
  • processing correctness – information provided by individuals and organisations is entered correctly and completely on the roll.

Performance

Table 5 summarises the AEC's results against the performance information set out for electoral roll management in the 2010–11 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Table 5 Key performance results for electoral roll management
Key performance indicators Results
95% of eligible people are on the electoral roll. 90.9% of eligible people were on the electoral roll at 30 June 2011.
99.5% of enrolment transactions are correctly processed.
99% of enrolment transactions are processed within three business days.
97.4% of enrolment transactions were correctly processed.a
79.0% of enrolment transactions were processed within three business days.
At least 98% of roll products are accurate.
At least 98% of roll products are delivered by agreed deadline.
99.9% of roll products delivered were accurate.
100% of roll products were delivered by the agreed deadline.
Those eligible to enrol have enhanced capacity to access certain enrolment services electronically where legislative authority exists. Legislative changes which came into effect in July 2010 enabled electors already on the electoral roll to update their address details electronically.
Continue to implement the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program. The Indigenous Electoral Participation Program field program commenced regular field work to conduct roll integrity and roll stimulation work in Aboriginal communities in remote, rural and urban areas.

a Errors in processing relate to those fields on an enrolment form that would impact on an individual's enrolment. Any errors in processing detected by the AEC are corrected and the record is amended.

Elector numbers and participation rate

Both the total number of electors enrolled to vote and the rate of participation by people eligible to enrol to vote increased in 2010–11.

The number of Australians enrolled to vote at 30 June 2011 was 14 141 503, which was an increase of 239 663 from the 13 901 840 electors enrolled at 30 June 2010. Overall, 143 728 net additions to the electoral roll occurred between the announcement of the federal election on 17 July and the deadline for enrolling to vote at 8pm on 26 July 2010. A net total of 443 187 electors were added to the roll since the close of rolls for the 2007 federal election, when 13 645 073 electors were enrolled to vote.

The number enrolled at 30 June 2011 represented an estimated participation rate of 90.9 per cent, an increase on both the estimated participation rate of 90.0 per cent for the federal election and the 30 June 2010 estimated participation rate of 89.7 per cent. The participation rate is based on an estimate of the total number of people eligible to enrol, which is calculated based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates derived from the census.

Figure 5 shows the trends in the number of electors enrolled and the participation rate for each year since the 2004 federal election.

This figure shows that:

  • the size of the electoral roll has increased since the 2004 and 2007 elections and is continuing to grow, and
  • the participation rate has improved since 30 June 2010, although it has yet to reach 95 per cent (the AEC's target rate).

Figure 5 Size of the electoral roll and estimated participation rate, October 2004 to June 2011

Figure 5 Size of the electoral roll and estimated participation rate, October 2004 to June 2011

Text description of Figure 5

Enrolment transactions

In 2010–11, the AEC processed a total of 2 409 850 elector transactions, which add electors to the roll or delete them from the roll. This was an increase of 3.5 per cent in the total number of elector transactions processed, compared to 2 328 661 in 2009–10. An increase in the overall level of transactions was expected, given that a federal election and state elections in New South Wales and Victoria, the two most populous states, were held during 2010–11.

Some 1.4 million of the transactions processed (58.7 per cent) involved changes to enrolment details where electors provided new information, usually because they had moved residence. Figure 6, which shows components of enrolment activity, indicates that changes to enrolment details resulting from a move have consistently been half of the AEC's roll management workload for each of the past six years.

Figure 6 Components of enrolment activity, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Figure 6 Components of enrolment activity, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Text description of Figure 6

Note: The enrolment activities presented in this figure are:

  • new enrolments – additions to the electoral roll of individuals who have become eligible to enrol and who have not previously been on the electoral roll,
  • re-enrolments – additions to the electoral roll of individuals who have previously been removed from the roll,
  • change in enrolment details – alterations to an individual's details as a result of intrastate, interstate or intra-division amendment or movement,
  • no change to enrolment details – cases where an individual returns an enrolment form but their enrolment details do not need to be altered,
  • objections – removals of individuals from the electoral roll on the basis that they do not live at their enrolled address or no longer have an entitlement to be enrolled, and
  • deaths – removals of the names of people who have died.

The following have not been included in this figure, as they make up less than one per cent of enrolment activity in any given year:

  • duplications – deletions of enrolment details from the electoral roll where individuals are enrolled more than once, due to administrative errors in most cases,
  • cancellations – removals from the electoral roll of individuals who have not maintained their eligibility status for enrolment under the Electoral Act, and
  • re-instatements – additions to the electoral roll of individuals who were deleted in error while still entitled to be on the roll.

A significant proportion of the activity in 2010–11 occurred in the early part of the year as electors enrolled or updated their enrolment details in the lead-up to the 2010 federal election. In particular, the High Court's decision in Rowe v Electoral Commissioner [2010] HCA 46, which extended the period for enrolling to vote by one week for new enrolees and by four days for those changing their enrolment details, resulted in the AEC processing additional enrolment applications for electors affected by the decision. An additional 57 732 electors, many of whom were first-time voters, were added to the electoral roll, and a further 40 408 electors had their existing enrolment details updated and were able to cast a vote for the electorate in which they lived.

The High Court's decision also posed the immediate challenge of ensuring that those who had submitted enrolment forms within the extended close of rolls period knew that they would be able to vote on polling day. The AEC undertook a range of activities, including mailing some 89 000 letters to affected electors, to ensure that those electors were aware of their entitlement to vote on election day.

Following the receipt of information from a variety of channels and investigation by the AEC, 'objections' may lead to the removal of individuals from the electoral roll on the basis that they do not live at their enrolled address or no longer have an entitlement to be enrolled. Objection activity is suspended across Australia from the time when an election is announced until after polling day. In 2010–11, objection activity was suspended across Australia for the period of the federal election, and in New South Wales and Victoria for periods around their state elections. The program was also suspended in some parts of Queensland between January 2011 and April 2011, because of disruption caused by natural disasters. In 2010–11, the total number of deletions and objections processed by the AEC decreased. Total deletions decreased from 460 550 in 2009–10 to 274 928 in 2010–11 (40.3 per cent decrease) and objections decreased from 346 057 in 2009–10 to 150 494 in 2010–11 (56.5 per cent decrease).

Table 6 summarises enrolment activity during 2010–11 for the types of transactions presented in Figure 6, as well as by state and territory.

Table 6 Enrolment activity, 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011
  NSW Vic. Qld WA SA Tas. ACT NT Total
Additions to the roll
New enrolments 93 819 84 300 45 496 28 858 17 770 4 654 4 370 3 912 283 179
Re-instatements 913 965 267 999 140 70 32 57 3 443
Re-enrolments 64 795 61 388 31 828 20 250 7 678 3 422 3 480 2 433 195 274
Intrastate movement 203 268 159 570 123 628 58 139 33 930 6 650 3 329 1 445 589 959
Interstate movement 36 685 31 149 35 589 12 955 8 459 5 249 9 447 6 122 145 655
Intra-division amendment or movement 226 485 156 840 140 465 65 573 50 300 16 794 14 458 7 917 678 832
No change enrolment 72 885 72 534 36 381 28 160 18 175 3 019 5 313 2 113 238 580
Total enrolment transactions processed 698 850 566 746 413 654 214 934 136 452 39 858 40 429 23 999 2 134 922
Deletions from the roll
Objections 41 878 60 432 5 697 21 284 15 202 2 952 1 711 1 338 150 494
Deaths 40 837 28 981 21 035 9 425 10 418 3 621 1 526 690 116 533
Duplications 2 154 1 678 1 110 437 341 109 119 91 6 039
Cancellation 229 888 454 233 45 13 0 0 1 862
Total deletions processed 85 098 91 979 28 296 31 379 26 006 6 695 3 356 2 119 274 928
Total elector transactions 783 948 658 725 441 950 246 313 162 458 46 553 43 785 26 118 2 409 850

Note: National and state/territory totals for enrolment activity are subject to minor statistical adjustment and will show minor differences from gazetted enrolment details. The figures above include new enrolments and changes to enrolments for 17-year-olds.

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Sources of enrolment forms

Table 7 shows the top 10 sources of enrolment forms in 2010–11 and indicates where they ranked compared to the top 10 sources in 2009–10.

Table 7 Top 10 sources of enrolment forms, 2010–11
Source
(rank in 2010–11 )
Rank in 2009–10 All enrolment forms Change in enrolment details New enrolment Re-enrolment
1. Interneta 4 500 616 440 792 30 206 29 618
2. Mail review 1 335 541 235 423 55 263 44 855
3. Post office 2 258 063 214 397 25 251 18 415
4. Federal election polling place n.a. 151 538 120 508 6 173 24 857
5. Division office 5 149 212 121 588 12 232 15 392
6. State electoral offices n.a. 143 379 110 426 21 825 11 128
7. Internet – staticb n.a. 133 157 101 555 17 835 13 767
8. Transport authorities 6 115 749 109 691 2 435 3 623
9. Citizenship ceremonies 7 74 894 2 944 71 669 281
10. State elections 10 35 637 18 786 2 587 14 264
Total   1 897 786 1 476 110 245 476 176 200

n.a. = not in the top 10.
a AEC online enrolment application form, 'SmartForm'.
b A PDF enrolment form, which is provided for those who have difficulty accessing the online enrolment form or who need to send a signed form to the AEC.

Note: Includes new enrolments and changes to enrolments for 17-year-olds.

The top 10 sources of enrolment forms for 2010–11 generated some 260 000 more enrolment forms than the top 10 sources for 2009–10. An increase was expected, given that a federal election and state elections in the two most populous states were held during 2010–11.

The impact of the federal election is reflected in the composition of the top 10 sources of enrolment forms: enrolment forms issued at federal polling places ranked fourth.

The online enrolment application form is replacing mail review as the AEC's primary source of enrolment forms as a result of legislative change and because the AEC's online enrolment application form, which is available from the AEC website and australia.gov.au, is easy to use.

Enrolment of newly eligible electors

Securing the enrolments of newly eligible electors – 18–25-year-olds and new citizens – is a particular priority for the AEC. Having secured their enrolment, the AEC then faces the challenge of ensuring that these electors remain correctly enrolled. Table 8 shows that the AEC's targets for the enrolment of young voters and new citizens were not met in 2010–11.

Table 8 Performance targets and results for 18–25-year-olds and new citizens, 2010–11
Targets Results
80% of 18–25-year-olds are enrolled to vote. 77.6% of 18–25-year-olds were enrolled to vote at 30 June 2011.
95% of new citizens are enrolled within three months of becoming citizens. 91.3% of new citizens were enrolled within three months of becoming citizens.

Youth

Figure 7, which presents the AEC's performance in meeting the target participation rate for 18–25-year-olds, indicates that:

  • the target participation rate was not achieved in 2010–11, and
  • the actual participation rate for 2010–11 differed very little from the actual participation rate for 2009–10.

Figure 7 Target and actual participation rate for 18–25-year-olds, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Figure 7 Target and actual participation rate for 18–25-year-olds, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Text description of Figure 7

Table 9, which shows the top 10 sources of new enrolments and changes to enrolment details for young voters during 2010–11, indicates that mail review is the source from which the AEC generates the most new enrolments and the online enrolment application form is the source from which the AEC generates the most changes in enrolment details for 18–25-year-olds.

Table 9 Top 10 sources of new enrolments and changes to enrolment details for 18–25-year-olds, 2010–11
Source (rank in 2010–11) Rank in 2009–10 No. transactions
New enrolment
1. Mail review 1 33 900
2. Interneta 7 24 080
3. Post office 4 21 270
4. Internet – staticb n.a. 14 469
5. State electoral commission 5 10 165
6. Division office 8 9 068
7. Citizenship ceremonies 3 8 017
8. Birthday cards 2 7 946
9. Federal election polling place n.a. 4 856
10. Enrol to Vote Week 6 2 948
Total   136 719
Change in enrolment details
1. Interneta 3 93 299
2. Mail review 1 38 808
3. Post office 2 34 610
4. Internet – staticb n.a. 22 314
5. Transport authorities 5 22 140
6. Federal election polling place n.a. 21 344
7. State electoral commission 4 19 111
8. Division office 6 17 548
9. State elections 7 4 529
10. Resident tenancies n.a. 1 962
Total   275 665

n.a. = not in the top 10.
a AEC online enrolment application form, 'SmartForm'.
b A PDF enrolment form, which is provided for those who have difficulty accessing the online enrolment form or who need to send a signed form to the AEC.

Changes to the Electoral Act that came into effect on 19 July 2010 reduced the age at which people may provisionally enrol, from 17 years to 16 years. Electors who provisionally enrol are fully enrolled by the AEC on turning 18, and are able to vote at an election should they turn 18 between the close of the rolls and election day. For the 2010 federal election, the AEC sent 12 194 letters to provisionally enrolled 17-year-olds who turned 18 on or before 21 August 2010.

The AEC has found that provisional enrolment allows enrolment activity to be directed to young people in schools, educational institutions and youth events. The reduction in the age for provisional enrolment will enhance the AEC's ability to actively target young people to combat under-enrolment among newly eligible electors.

New citizens

The AEC encourages new citizens to enrol to vote by approaching them directly through citizenship ceremonies. In all states and territories, AEC employees attend citizenship ceremonies to provide electoral information and assist with the completion of enrolment forms. Each new citizen is given an enrolment form pre-filled with their personal details. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship produces the forms, on behalf of the AEC, in conjunction with the printing of citizenship certificates. The new citizen can return the completed form immediately, through the AEC staff member or the local council representative at the ceremony.

Figure 8 shows the proportion of forms returned within three months of being distributed at a citizenship ceremony.

Figure 8 Target and actual rate of new citizens enrolling within three months of attending a citizenship ceremony, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Figure 8 Target and actual rate of new citizens enrolling within three months of attending a citizenship ceremony, 2005–06 to 2010–11

Text description of Figure 8

The target participation rate was not achieved in 2010–11, and the actual participation rate for 2010–11 was lower than the actual participation rate for 2009–10. During 2011–12, the AEC will seek to identify the factors that contribute to the rate of enrolment of new citizens.

Continuous Roll Update

The Continuous Roll Update (CRU) program is the most significant enrolment activity conducted by the AEC. Regular mail reviews, in which the AEC conducts large mail-outs to specific electors and to specific addresses where it believes eligible electors who are currently not on the electoral roll reside, are the core of the program. The mail reviews are, in some cases, supplemented by targeted field work. Follow-up activity is also conducted, mainly aimed at people who have not responded to an initial mail-out.

As Table 7 shows, mail review activities continue to be a significant source of enrolment forms for the AEC. Mail review activities continue to be the main source of forms for re-enrolment and are the second highest source of enrolment forms for both new enrolment and change in enrolment details.

During 2010–11, the AEC sent some 1.6 million CRU letters.

The CRU program is generally suspended from the time when an election is announced until two months after election day. In 2010–11, all mail-outs ceased across Australia for the period of the federal election, and in New South Wales and Victoria for periods around their state elections. The program was also suspended in some parts of Queensland between January 2011 and April 2011, because of disruption caused by natural disasters.

During 2010–11, the AEC modified the letters sent as part of the CRU program to inform electors who were already on the roll of the option of updating their address details online. Letters containing this message were included in mail-outs sent to targeted electors in November 2010, February 2011 and June 2011.

This strategy led to a significant increase in the use of the AEC online enrolment application.

New collaboration arrangements to provide enrolment services

In 2010–11, the AEC entered into a new collaborative arrangement with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to promote and encourage electoral enrolment. Under the arrangement:

  • When a person using the ATO's online tax return application, e-tax, indicates a change of residential address, e-tax will present a reminder to update enrolment details and a link to the AEC's online enrolment pages.
  • Information about the importance of updating enrolment details will be included in Workforce education news, a free email newsletter that the ATO issues regularly to more than 3 000 employers and professional associations.
  • Enrolment forms and enrolment information will be supplied to people involved in the Tax Help Volunteer program, which annually assists some 60 000 taxpayers to complete their tax returns.

The AEC also entered into new arrangements with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the supply of passport data, which has led to a more streamlined process for checking passport numbers. Recent legislative changes mean that electors may provide their passport numbers to the AEC as evidence of identity for enrolment purposes. Previously, electors were only able to use a passport number as proof of identity when they did not have a driver's licence. The introduction of new evidence of identity requirements means that the elector can now choose from a number of options when supplying evidence of identity.

Enrolment is not something people place at the top of their 'to do' list when moving and, as a result, people moving house has contributed to the fact that a significant number of eligible Australians are missing from the electoral roll. Electors who have moved and not updated their enrolment details may be removed from the electoral roll, and consequently may not be able to vote in federal, state or territory, or local government elections. In May 2011, the AEC launched a communications framework to encourage potential and current electors to enrol or update their enrolment address details when moving house. The framework will help the AEC to reach the elector through existing channels that are a natural part of the process of moving, such as real estate agents. It includes materials such as a fact sheet that explains both the importance of updating enrolment details and ways to do so.

Improved understanding of enrolment behaviour

To develop an understanding of what prompts individuals to enrol, in 2009–10 the AEC commissioned quantitative and qualitative work to identify enrolment triggers among 18–39-year-olds, examine whether those triggers change as people move through different life stages, and provide insight into what short- and long-term strategies need to be employed to improve the participation rate of this age group.

Quantitative data was gathered in April and May 2010, before many of the innovations discussed elsewhere in this report came into effect. Final analysis and findings were provided to the AEC in December 2010.

Findings of this research include:

  • nearly three-quarters of those surveyed indicated that they knew that they would need to be enrolled before going to a polling place on election day,
  • 85 per cent were confident about how to enrol,
  • of survey participants who had moved since the 2007 federal election and who had not updated their details on the electoral roll, 32 per cent indicated that they simply 'hadn't got around to it',
  • a further 18 per cent of those who had moved and not updated stated that they 'would move again, so will update their details after that',
  • more than 90 per cent of those surveyed admitted to knowing that they should always be enrolled at their current address and that they need to update their enrolment every time they move, indicating that one of the key challenges facing the AEC is to assist electors to put this knowledge into practice,
  • 77 per cent of the participants knew that they could update their enrolment details after moving by using an enrolment form,
  • 86 per cent of those who had enrolled described the experience as easy,
  • some 40 per cent of participants recalled receiving a letter from the AEC asking them to update their enrolment details; three-quarters of this group acknowledged that they took action as a result of the letter,
  • 53 per cent said their preferred method for updating their enrolment details after moving would be 'by updating your address details online at the AEC website',
  • 28 per cent of those aged 25 to 39 currently source enrolment information on the Internet, but 43 per cent would prefer to, and
  • nearly 80 per cent of participants thought that when changes of personal details are reported to a government department or agency, that should result in their details being updated on the electoral roll.

The AEC is using the findings of this research to develop further strategies to improve electoral participation.

Measuring the integrity of the electoral roll

In performing its functions under the Electoral Act, the AEC undertakes both ongoing and periodic activities to assess the integrity of the electoral roll. The AEC conducts specific examinations of the electoral roll to:

  • detect patterns that may be evidence of electoral fraud, in particular following the 2010 federal election, and
  • assess the integrity of the roll.

Enrolment Quality Assurance Program

The Enrolment Quality Assurance Program (EQAP) is a national quality assurance program for enrolment application processing. The program measures whether enrolment applications are processed accurately and in a timely manner.

The timeliness of enrolment form processing is now measured based on all enrolment forms processed, rather than a sample. The AEC will undertake a review of EQAP in 2011–12.

The timeliness of processing of enrolment forms in 2010–11 was affected by the logistical demands of the federal election and state elections in New South Wales and Victoria. Typically, the processing of enrolment forms received after the close of rolls may be delayed while divisional staff undertake other election critical work. Differences in Commonwealth and state electoral laws may also mean delays in processing, as the AEC seeks to ensure that electors are correctly enrolled for Commonwealth and state purposes.

Table 10 sets out the key EQAP results for 2010–11.

Table 10 Enrolment Quality Assurance Program results, enrolment forms processed in 2010–11
Measures Results Explanation
Essential fields found without errorsa 97.4% Fields on an enrolment form that would affect the enrolment – surname or family name, given name/s (where known), date of birth, gender, residential address, citizenship details, signature or mark, proof of identity, signature of witness (where required), postal address.
Non-essential fields found without errors 96.9% Any other fields on the enrolment form. These fields do not affect an enrolment.
Timing of processinga 79.0% Enrolment forms processed within three business days of the form being received by any AEC office.

a These measures relate to the key performance indicators for accurate and timely enrolment processing. 'Essential fields found without errors' measures achievement against the target of 99.5 per cent of enrolment transactions correctly processed, and 'timing of processing' measures achievement against the target of 99 per cent of enrolment transactions processed within three business days.

Sample audit field work

Sample audit field work (SAF), which is the process of reviewing a national, statistically valid, random sample of the electoral roll, aims to provide an indication of the accuracy and completeness of the roll and to test the effectiveness of the CRU process in maintaining the roll's accuracy.

SAF was not undertaken in 2010–11, because a review of the SAF methodology and reporting framework, commenced in 2009–10, was continuing, taking into consideration the findings made by the Australian National Audit Office in Performance audit report no. 28 of 2009–10 – The Australian Electoral Commission's preparation for and conduct of the 2007 federal general election.

Election-specific integrity checks

The AEC compared and analysed enrolment patterns in the three months prior to the close of rolls for the 2010 federal election and for the 2007 federal election, and found that:

  • A similar number of new enrolments, re-enrolments and change of address transactions occurred for the two electoral events.
  • No significant variations in the volumes and types of enrolment transactions, or anomalous patterns in movement in and out of divisions, were detectable.

The AEC also examined whether there were any irregular patterns of movement of electors in 'close seats' (that is, electoral divisions where the winning margin is close). The enrolment transactions in 10 divisions were examined to identify any instances where electors enrolled for a division in the three-month period before the close of rolls and then transferred back to their previous addresses in the three months following the election.

The results from this analysis indicated a very low incidence of this type of movement. Analysis of the reasons behind the movements indicated that they were consistent with typical population movement based on life events.

Roll products and services

Under provisions of the Electoral Act and, where relevant, the joint roll arrangements between the AEC and state and territory electoral bodies, the AEC provides a range of products and services based on information in the electoral roll.

Electronic roll

The AEC produces an electronic copy of the roll, updated daily, which is accessible to the general public and satisfies the AEC's obligations under the Electoral Act to make the electoral roll publicly accessible. People may inspect this roll at any AEC office. Electors may also check their own enrolment details online through the AEC website, using the online enrolment verification facility.

Recent legislative change clarified that the right of inspection of the electoral roll does not include the right to copy or record the roll using electronic means, including taking photos.

Roll products for elections and redistributions

The AEC provided data from the electoral roll for more than 60 electoral events conducted during 2010–11, including:

  • the federal election held on 21 August 2010,
  • state elections held in Victoria on 27 November 2010 and in New South Wales on 26 March 2011, and
  • 52 local government by-elections.

Electoral roll products were also provided for redistributions, including the federal redistribution conducted in Victoria; and redistributions for two New South Wales local government areas.

Other roll products

Subject to legislative restrictions governing access to and use and disclosure of electoral roll data, the AEC may provide particular electoral roll products to:

  • federal parliamentarians (members and senators),
  • political parties,
  • state and territory electoral authorities ('joint roll partners'),
  • Australian Government departments and agencies,
  • medical researchers,
  • commercial companies, in support of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006, and
  • the public.

The AEC provided some 600 products to the state and territory electoral authorities under joint roll arrangements during 2010–11.

Table 11 compares the numbers of electoral roll products the AEC provided to other recipients in the financial years from 2008–09 to 2010–11.

Table 11 Number of electoral roll products provided to selected recipients, 2008–09 to 2010–11
Recipient of electoral roll information 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
Those conducting medical research or providing a health screening program 36 45 9
Prescribed authorities under Schedule 1 of the Electoral and Referendum Regulations 1940 62 56 54
Prescribed persons and organisations under Regulation 7 of the Electoral and Referendum Regulations 1940 15 20 19
Members of the House of Representatives and senators 2 043 2 057 1 615
Federally registered political parties 296 296 220
Total 2 452 2 474 1 917

The total number of products supplied decreased in 2010–11. The change is due to:

  • medical researchers and those conducting health screening surveys – the number of researchers requesting an extract from the electoral roll decreased. The number of researchers making requests varies annually, depending on the studies being undertaken in any given year.
  • members of the House of Representatives and senators – the number of products supplied decreased significantly as members do not receive information while Parliament is prorogued. The content of information received was also different for a number of members as they received information for multiple divisions, reflecting the re-drawing of electoral boundaries following the redistribution in Victoria.
  • federally registered political parties – the number of products supplied decreased as electoral roll information was not provided to parties while Parliament was prorogued.

Appendix F provides further information on legislative entitlements to access roll products; organisations and individuals that received roll products; and, where appropriate, the products provided and the frequency of provision.

Electoral roll products were also provided to members of the public and government agencies, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In those cases, the data provided was statistical or included addresses only.

Enhanced use of technology

Legislative change introduced in July 2010 significantly enhanced electors' capacity to engage with enrolment services electronically.

Online update of enrolment details

Changes to the Electoral Act which came into effect in July 2010 allowed electors who are already on the electoral roll to update their details online using the AEC's online enrolment application form, as discussed in a case study. The online service includes a reminder of the need to provide a signed application for electors in states which require a signature to update state and local enrolment.

RollMap

The AEC's processing of enrolment applications was improved with the introduction of an agency-wide web mapping service, RollMap, in May 2011. The service, which includes some basic geographic information system tools, will assist the AEC to maintain the address register, an important element in supporting electoral integrity. It will also assist in the management of polling place locations and future redistribution processes.

Indigenous Electoral Participation Program

The IEPP, which started in May 2010, has developed a broad and comprehensive program that will provide a firm foundation for strategies and activities in future. A continuous field program has made the AEC better able to conduct roll integrity and roll stimulation work in remote, rural and urban areas. The program now reaches into almost every Indigenous community in Australia, giving the AEC unprecedented access to the community members, and allowing them to access electoral information, education and enrolment. The 'Community strategies' section of the annual report provides more detailed information about the IEPP's activities in 2010–11.