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AEC proposes Internet services to attract younger voters

17 July, 2007
By Allison Orr

In a recent submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has stated that it must review the way it communicates in order to improve the rate of enrolment applications. 

The AEC observes that young people are more used to electronic communication, and they have an expectation that government services will be provided online, particularly with people under 25 who have grown up with the Internet.

Among other things, the Submission put forward the concept of “direct enrolment” as one of its Continuous Roll Update (CRU) processes, which would involve electoral authorities using information already in the hands of government agencies to automatically enrol people or update their details. 

The submission also proposes greater legislative flexibility for the AEC in order to effectively implement any new online services.  As noted in the submission, existing legislation does not allow the AEC to move very far in implementing eGovernment services on the Internet.  For instance, legislation currently requires a hand-written signature to authenticate an enrolment application.  New legislation would be required to allow electronic authentification if online enrolment were to be allowed.

Download the entire submission here: AEC Submission One, 28 June 2007
Read other submissions here: Inquiry into certain aspects of the administration of the Australian Electoral Commission

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