The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria Inc. (ECCV) is the voice of multicultural Victoria and the peak policy advocacy body for eight regional ethnic community councils and up to 220 members including ethnic and multicultural organisations across Victoria since 1974. For over 40 years, we have been the link between multicultural communities, government and the wider community.
ECCV is pleased to be invited to contribute to the Electoral Matters Committee’s Inquiry into Electronic Voting and applauds the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC) commitment to expand access to electronic voting for Victorians. ECCV has a strong history in advocating for the rights of multicultural communities, including on issues regarding democratic participation. For example, we contributed to the inquiry on the conduct of the 2014 Victorian State Election and on the review of local government elections by the Local Government Electoral Review Panel.1
Building on our previous activities, ECCV would like to reiterate some points about improving access to elections in Australia and provide a number of specific comments on electronic voting in Victoria. This submission will also refer to the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia’s (FECCA) recent report on digital government service delivery and access and equity for multicultural communities. Based on consultations with culturally diverse communities, the report explores how to bridge the digital access and equity gap for culturally diverse service users and improve access to government services.