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Electoral Amendment Bill receives first reading

Hon Amy Adams
Minister of Justice

11 October 2016 Media Statement

Electoral Amendment Bill receives first reading

The Electoral Amendment Bill has today passed its first reading with unanimous support, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

The Bill implements recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee Inquiry into the 2014 General Election that require a law change, and can be implemented in time for the 2017 General Election.

“The proposed changes in the Bill focus on improving services to voters, candidates and parties by making the law and voting process more user-friendly and adapting to changing voter behaviours,” says Ms Adams.

Key features of the legislation include:

• allowing electoral officials in voting places on election day to be able check a voter’s enrolment status by looking up and marking them off electronically, rather than having to rely on paper-based rolls

• permitting the counting of advance votes earlier on Election Day to ensure preliminary results can be announced in a timely manner

• allowing the Electoral Commission to use new methods of providing information to electors via email, in addition to post

• banning campaigning and the display of campaign material inside and within 10 metres of Advance Voting Places.

The Bill will now go to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for further review.

Ms Adams says that the vast majority of the changes in the Bill have already been carefully considered by the Committee and unanimously recommended.

“The select committee process is very important and I encourage people to have their say when the Committee calls for public submissions on the Bill.”

The Justice and Electoral Select Committee conducts a routine inquiry after each General Election. The Committee presented its report on the 2014 General Election on 21 April 2016 and the Government presented its response on 4 July.

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