Electoral systems



Using individual income tax data in automatic voter registration systems: a state-by-state analysis

This report assesses the effectiveness of using United States income tax data for the purpose of automatic voter registration or re-registration, focusing on the level of match between each state’s standard individual income tax form and its voter registration requirements.

Next-generation technology and electoral democracy: understanding the changing environment

Using case studies from experts in fields such as computer science, law and public policy, this special report offers recommendations to guide policy-makers and stakeholders on how to protect elections from next-generation technologies and the threats they pose to democracy.
Working paper

Federal voter ID laws

This working paper compiles a number of pieces by participants from a seminar to discuss the federal government’s recently announced intentions to enact new voter ID requirements for federal elections—a proposal that raises questions of constitutionality and broader democratic policy.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Zali Steggall says it's 'perfectly legal' to lie in political advertisements. Is she correct?

Independent federal MP Zali Steggall claimed that, in contrast to consumer law, it was “perfectly legal” to lie in Australian political advertising. Experts told Fact Check there were no catch-all federal laws to prevent lies in political ads, though they said existing laws might apply...
Working paper

Foreign interference and Australian electoral security in the digital era

Digitisation of elections in Australia induces new vulnerabilities that malign foreign entities can exploit to subvert our democratic sovereignty. Despite this threat landscape, according to this paper, Australia’s digital-analogue hybridity safeguards federal elections from hard cyber security risks that might seek to directly tamper with...

APO NT Submission to the Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Ensuring Fair Representation of the Northern Territory) Bill 2020

In this submission, Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT) expresses their concern that the Northern Territory needs to be further included in government relations such as voter engagement, more accurate census data, and a significant presence in the House of Representatives.
Discussion paper

Comes with the territory

Bill Browne argues in this discussion paper that a straightforward way to ensure the Northern Territory has two House of Representatives seats is to increase the overall size of the House. He suggests that an increase of about 50% in the number of parliamentarians would...

Inquiry into civics and electoral participation in Victorian state parliamentary elections

In the state of Victoria, there is a role for both the education system and for the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) in the teaching and awareness of civics. The committee believes that civics and a lack of public understanding about the way our democracy works...

Freedom of speech and political communication in Australia

Freedom of speech is fundamental to a free society. Political communication is obviously an important mode of speech and accordingly, the laws and regulations that seek to restrict it are inherently concerning.

Making it count: lessons from Australian electoral assistance 2006-16

This Office of Development Effectiveness evaluation examined the effectiveness, inclusiveness and efficiency of Australian electoral assistance to major national elections in eight countries between 2006 and 2016: Afghanistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga.
Briefing paper

Recent developments in NSW electoral law

This e-brief provides an overview of recent developments in electoral law reform in NSW.
Audio interview

Fixing the Senate

Senate voting needs to be simpler and more transparent. Brian Costar talks to Peter Clarke about a plan to fix the system, and looks at the politics of the federal budget.
Blog post

NSW moves to automatic electoral enrolment

NSW moves to automatic electoral enrolment - and the Commonwealth should follow suit, writes Antony Green.

Sprucing up the horse and buggy

New recommendations for electoral reform are a step in the right direction, but the pace continues to be slow, writes Peter Brent on our partner website, INSIDE STORY
Briefing paper

The US Electoral College: the antiquated key to presidential success

Presidential elections in the United States are decided not by the popular vote but by the election of state delegates to the Electoral College. In this APO Backgrounder, Rodney Tiffen describes how the system works and what it means for the result - and looks...

A step backwards for democracy

Proposed changes to electoral laws are based on faulty arguments, writes Marian Sawer.

Above-the-line voting: how democratic?

Ever since above-the-line voting was introduced for the Australian Senate in 1984 there has been concern over what happens with preferences under this system. Marian Sawer examines the problems of this voting system and looks at options for reform.

Australian electoral systems: how well do they serve political equality?

In this audit Graeme Orr assesses key aspects of Australia's electoral systems against the ideal of political equality. Political equality means formal equality (treating people equally as electors), and it requires systems that are representative and inclusive, accessible to all and competitive (so that elections...