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Use of electronically assisted voting at a local government by-election

Purpose

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform local governments of recent legislative amendments to:

Background

The Local Government Electoral Act 2011 (LGEA) section 67(1)(d) provides for the casting of an electronically assisted vote in a local government election. Section 75A(1) provides that the ECQ may make procedures about how an elector may cast an electronically assisted vote.

On 8 September 2015, the ECQ made ‘electronically assisted voting procedures’ for local government elections. The procedures provided for the use of electronically assisted voting at local government elections for the following persons:

The LGEA section 68(5B) provides that if a procedure about how an elector may cast an electronically assisted vote has been made by the ECQ under section 75A, an elector may cast an electronically assisted vote if the elector:

On 23 October 2015 amendments to the Local Government Electoral Regulation 2012 (LGER) commenced to:

What's new?

The ECQ proposed that in consideration of its strategic goal of making voting more accessible and convenient to all electors, and based on the success of electronically assisted voting at the 2016 quadrennial local government elections and State referendum and the January 2015 State general election, a further class of ‘distance voter’ be prescribed who may cast an electronically assisted vote in a by-election. Accordingly, on 15 June 2016 the ECQ made revised ‘electronically assisted voting procedures’ for local government elections to replace the procedures of 8 September 2015.

The new procedures include an expanded definition of ‘distance voter’ for a by-election and insert a definition of ‘voting period’ for a by-election. The procedures continue to provide for the following:

The LGEA section 75A(3)(a) provides that the procedures do not take effect until approved by a regulation. The Local Government Electoral Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016 SL. No. 101 (the amendment regulation) was made by Governor in Council on 30 June 2016 and notified on the Queensland Legislation website on 1 July 2016. The explanatory notes are also available on the Queensland Legislation website at www.legislation.qld.gov.au.

The amendment regulation amends the LGER section 3 to:

The amendment regulation provides two examples of ‘distance voter’ for a by-election:

The amendment regulation also amends section 4 of the LGER to approve the ECQ procedures of 15 June 2016 as required by the LGEA section 75A(3)(a).

The procedures were tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 1 July 2016 as required by LGEA section 75A(3)(b) and are available on the Queensland Parliament website at www.parliament.qld.gov.au. The LGEA section 75A(3)(c) also requires the ECQ to publish the procedures on its website www.ecq.qld.gov.au.

Should the ECQ decide that electronically assisted voting is not suitable at a particular election, or by a class of electors, the LGEA section 75D enables the ECQ to decide that electronically assisted voting is not to be used. The decision must be in writing and published on the ECQ website.

Further information

Any further enquiries should be addressed to:

Mr Tim Dunne
Manager, Program Implementation and Review
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Phone: 07 3452 6743
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.