Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1127 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

� The nomination process;

� Enrolment requirements;

� The voting process; and

� Requirements for authorising electoral matter;

as well as various minor and machinery amendments.

Several changes are proposed to the party registration scheme. The Bill will tighten the party registration requirements to require all registered political parties to demonstrate that they have 100 members on the ACT electoral roll. At present, "parliamentary parties" can be registered if they have at least one member who is a representative in any Australian Parliament-this has the undesirable effect of allowing parties to register in the ACT without a local support base.

This Bill will also introduce a scheme of registration of ballot group names for use by Independent MLAs on ballot papers, thereby removing the need for Independent MLAs to register "parties of convenience".

All registered political parties will be required to provide the Electoral Commissioner with an up-to-date copy of their constitution, which must be made publicly available by the Commissioner. At present, parties must supply their constitution when registering, but are not required to supply up-to-date copies.

To ensure that the ACT electoral roll remains in step with the Commonwealth electoral roll, the Bill will bring the provisions related to making and witnessing enrolment claims into line with recent Commonwealth changes. The Commonwealth Parliament has passed amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act that will if proclaimed provide for a limited list of persons eligible to witness enrolment claims and will require first time claimants to provide proof of identity. These changes are intended to enhance the integrity of the electoral roll. Adopting the Commonwealth witnessing and proof of identity requirements will ensure that, should these changes be proclaimed, the ACT and the Commonwealth retain a common electoral roll.

The Bill provides for end-use restrictions to be applied to electoral rolls provided to candidates, to match those restrictions that currently apply to use of rolls supplied to parties and MLAs. Currently, no end-use restrictions apply to rolls given to candidates.

Amendments are also proposed related to candidate nominations and the voting process.

The Electoral Commissioner will be given the power to reject a candidate's nomination where the name under which the candidate is nominated is obscene, is frivolous or has been assumed for a political purpose. This should serve to prevent the practice that has started to emerge in other Jurisdictions where candidates have used contrived names to achieve a political advantage or to trivialise the election process

To increase the accessibility of the voting process, the Bill provides that an elector may vote outside a polling place, if the officer in charge is satisfied that the elector is unable to enter the polling place because of a physical disability, illness, advanced

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .