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



Program 1.1 overview

Updated: 17 October 2011

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In 2010–11, Program 1.1 comprised two deliverables, as shown in Table 4.

Table 4 Objective and deliverables of Program 1.1
Objective Voter entitlement for Australians and support for electoral events and redistributions through maintaining an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll.
Deliverables Electoral roll management.

Maintain multiple streams of contact with electors to encourage them to enrol and keep their enrolment up-to-date.
Support services for electoral redistributions.

Deliver support for the redistributions culminating in the AEC providing updated electoral boundary redistribution maps and advice to impacted electors.
Performance report Electoral roll management. Support services for electoral redistributions


The number of people enrolled to vote increased by 239 663 to 14 141 503 at 30 June 2011, an increase of 1.7 per cent from 30 June 2010. The AEC estimates that this represents 90.9 per cent of those who were eligible to enrol.

The AEC faced several challenges in providing enrolment services to the Australian electorate during 2010–11. Following the announcement of the federal election on 17 July, the AEC made 85 966 additions to the electoral roll prior to the initial deadline for enrolment on 22 July 2010. After a High Court decision on 6 August 2010, which extended the period for enrolling to vote, the AEC processed additional enrolment applications. As a consequence, 14 088 260 electors were enrolled to vote at the federal election on 21 August 2010.

During 2010–11, the AEC implemented legislative change designed to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the provision of enrolment services to electors, and to assist specific groups of electors to maintain their franchise. As a result of amendments to the Electoral Act:

  • For the first time, Australian electors are able to change their address details online without the need to provide a signature to the AEC. This contributed to the AEC online enrolment application being the primary source of enrolment transactions during 2010–11.
  • Changes to the evidence of identity requirements mean that electors now have flexibility about what form of evidence they provide when enrolling for the first time.
  • A subcategory was added to the definition of 'itinerant elector' to specifically cater for persons experiencing homelessness, enabling enrolment and continued enrolment for this group.
  • An itinerant elector will not automatically be removed from the electoral roll if they do not vote or apply for a postal vote at a federal election.
  • Although prisoners will be disqualified from voting while serving a sentence of imprisonment of three years or longer, they may remain on, or be added to, the electoral roll during the period of disqualification.
  • 16–year-olds may provisionally enrol and will automatically be fully enrolled on turning 18.

The AEC processed more than 2.4 million elector transactions during 2010–11. This represented an increase of 3.5 per cent (or some 81 000 more transactions) on the number of transactions in 2009–10. More than three-quarters of those enrolment transactions were processed within three business days of their receipt by the AEC.

Under the Electoral Act, the AEC provides various extracts of the electoral roll, known as roll products and services, for specific purposes. In 2010–11, the AEC provided timely and accurate roll products for 60 electoral events, some 600 roll products to state and territory electoral commissions under joint roll arrangements, and 1 917 roll products to selected recipients with entitlements specified in the Electoral Act.

The AEC provided support and analysis for redistributions in Victoria and South Australia during 2010–11.


During 2011–12, the AEC will continue to ensure that the electoral roll is as up-to-date and accurate as possible by:

  • continuing to refine and improve its methods of contacting and seeking enrolment from eligible members of the community using the research completed in 2010–11,
  • making it easier for electors to access AEC services,
  • employing technology to modernise processes, including modifying IT systems to better use existing data,
  • expanding its partnerships and collaborative working arrangements,
  • continuing to implement provisions of Commonwealth legislative changes, and working with state and territory electoral commissions, through joint roll arrangements, to implement changes to state legislation,
  • continuing to implement legislative and procedural changes arising from parliamentary reviews, including those from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, and
  • strengthening the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program to improve the participation of Indigenous Australians in the electoral process.

The redistribution of federal electoral boundaries in South Australia will conclude during 2011–12; a report detailing the new boundaries will be released in late 2011.