The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has released its report into the 2016 Federal Election, referred to the Committee on 21 September 2016.

Having received 228 submissions and hearing evidence from a range of witnesses, including government agencies, academics, and relevant stakeholders, the Committee has produced a comprehensive report which makes 31 recommendations aimed at safeguarding and strengthening our democracy.

Among the recommendations are measures which include the implementation of compulsory voter identification; a national roll-out of Electronic Certified Lists to enhance polling-day efficiency and reduce the risk of instances of multiple voting; ways in which the voting process can be made more accessible to voters with disabilities and those completing postal votes; and, cybersecurity measures to avoid electoral interference or manipulation.

Committee Chair, Senator Hon. James McGrath, said that the Committee had worked effectively to produce a thorough report which considered ways in which Australia’s democratic process could be safeguarded and strengthened.

“With an election due next year, we want to make sure our electoral system is ready. That means making sure it is healthy, transparent, and fair for all,” Senator McGrath said.

“While the report acknowledges the integrity of our electoral system, there is room for improvement. For instance, Australia is lagging behind Canada and India when it comes to the implementation of compulsory Voter ID. Likewise, we can make voting easier for those with disabilities to ensure everyone has a chance to cast their ballot.

“In the lead up to next year’s election, the Committee believes these recommendations will enhance an already vibrant and enviable democracy.”

The report is now available on the Committee’s website.