On 21 February 2017 the committee received terms of reference from the Legislative Assembly to inquire into civics and electoral participation at Victorian state elections and report to Parliament by 31 August 2018. The committee was specifically required to report on:
- electoral and civics education, the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC’s) community engagement programs and other best practice approaches used by the VEC, other Australian electoral commissions, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, to ensure that Victorian citizens are adequately informed and able to participate effectively in elections;
- strategies to reduce informal voting at Victorian state elections which are not related to the voting system;
- how the VEC employs and trains casual staff for Victorian state elections. This should involve discussion about methods to attract people to join the VEC’s casual staffing roster for Victorian elections. The Committee should also examine the roles and responsibilities of the VEC’s casual election staff in light of changing technological and societal demands; and
- strategies to increase electoral participation amongst community groups that traditionally experience barriers to electoral participation, such as Victorians aged 18 to 24, Victorians from multicultural backgrounds, as well as Victorians who have recently become Australian citizens and are not familiar with Australia’s electoral system.