Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918


TABLE OF PROVISIONS

           Long Title

   PART I--PRELIMINARY

   1.      Short title  
   2.      Commencement  
   3.      Repeal  
   4.      Interpretation  
   4A.     Extraterritorial operation of Act  
   4B.     Act to bind Crown  
   4C.     Registered officer of political party  
   4D.     Application of the Criminal Code  

   PART II--ADMINISTRATION

           Division 1--Preliminary

   5.      Interpretation  
   5A.     Application of Part in relation to Northern Territory  

           Division 2--The Australian Electoral Commission

   6.      Establishment of Commission  
   7.      Functions and Powers of Commission  
   7A.     Supply of goods and services  
   7B.     Fees for goods and services  
   8.      Tenure and terms of office  
   9.      Leave of absence  
   10.     Resignation  
   11.     Disclosure of interests  
   12.     Termination of appointment  
   13.     Acting Chairperson  
   14.     Acting non-judicial appointee  
   14A.    Remuneration  
   15.     Meetings of Commission  
   16.     Delegation by Commission  
   17.     Reports by the Commission  
   17A.    Certain particulars not to be included in reports  

           Division 3--Electoral Commissioner, Deputy Electoral Commissioner and Australian Electoral Officers for States

   18.     Electoral Commissioner  
   19.     Deputy Electoral Commissioner  
   20.     Australian Electoral Officers for States  
   21.     Terms and conditions of appointment etc.  
   22.     Remuneration  
   23.     Leave of absence  
   24.     Resignation  
   25.     Termination of appointment  
   26.     Acting Electoral Commissioner  
   27.     Acting Deputy Electoral Commissioner  
   28.     Delegation by Electoral Commissioner  

           Division 4--Staff of the Commission

   29.     Staff  
   30.     Australian Electoral Officer for the Australian Capital Territory  
   31.     Assistant Australian Electoral Officers for States  
   32.     Divisional Returning Officers  
   33.     Assistant Returning Officers  
   34.     Assistant Divisional Returning Officers  
   35.     Employment of additional staff, consultants etc.  

           Division 5--Miscellaneous

   36.     Candidates not to be officers  
   38.     Offices of Divisional Returning Officers  

   PART III--REPRESENTATION IN THE PARLIAMENT

           Division 1AA--Interpretation

   38A.    Interpretation  

           Division 1--Choosing of senators for

   39.     Senators to be directly chosen by people of State etc.  

           Division 2--Representation of the Territories in the Senate

   40.     Representation of the Territories in the Senate  
   41.     Powers, privileges and immunities of senator for Territory  
   42.     Term of service of senator for Territory  
   43.     Time of elections of senators for Territories  
   44.     Casual vacancies in places of senators for Territories  

           Division 3--Representation of the States and Territories in the House of Representatives

   45.     Interpretation  
   46.     Ascertainment of numbers of people of Commonwealth, States and Territories  
   47.     Supply of statistical information by Australian Statistician  
   48.     Determination of number of members of House of Representatives to be chosen in States and Territories  
   48A.    Northern Territory to elect 2 members of the House of Representatives in the next election  
   49.     Notification of determination  
   50.     Number of members of House of Representatives to be chosen in States and Territories  
   51.     Choice of member for Territory  
   53.     Powers, privileges and immunities of member for Territory  
   54.     Time of elections of members for Territories  

   PART IV--ELECTORAL DIVISIONS

   55.     Interpretation  
   55A.    Application to Northern Territory  
   56.     States and Australian Capital Territory to be distributed into Electoral Divisions  
   56AA.   Inclusion of Territories in Australian Capital Territory Divisions  
   56A.    Inclusion of Territories in Northern Territory Divisions  
   57.     One member to be chosen for each Electoral Division  
   58.     Monthly ascertainment of enrolment etc.  
   59.     Times at which redistributions are to commence  
   60.     Redistribution Committee  
   62.     Proceedings at meetings of Redistribution Committee etc.  
   63.     Sub-committees  
   63A.    Projection time for equality of enrolments  
   64.     Suggestions and comments relating to redistribution  
   65.     Quota  
   66.     Redistribution Committee to make proposed redistribution  
   67.     Reasons for proposed redistribution  
   67A.    Outline of proposed redistribution  
   68.     Notice of proposed redistribution  
   69.     Objections against proposed redistribution  
   70.     Augmented Electoral Commission  
   71.     Proceedings at meetings of augmented Electoral Commission etc.  
   72.     Consideration of objections  
   73.     Redistribution of State or Australian Capital Territory  
   74.     Reasons for determination made by augmented Electoral Commission  
   75.     Copies of certain documents to be forwarded to Minister  
   76.     Mini-redistribution  
   76A.    Application of section 76 to Northern Territory  
   77.     Decisions under Part final etc.  
   78.     Improper influence  

   PART V--SUBDIVISIONS AND POLLING PLACES

   79.     Subdivisions  
   80.     Polling places  

   PART VI--ELECTORAL ROLLS

   81.     Electoral Rolls  
   82.     Subdivision Rolls, Division Rolls and State and Territory Rolls  
   83.     Form of Rolls  
   84.     Arrangement with States  
   85.     New Rolls to be prepared upon Proclamation  
   86.     New Rolls on creation of new Divisions etc.  
   87.     Additions etc. to new Rolls  
   88.     Objections and notices to have effect in relation to new Rolls  
   90.     Commission to determine manner and form of access to Rolls etc.  
   90A.    Inspection etc. of Rolls  
   90B.    Information on Rolls and certified lists of voters to be provided to particular people and organisations  
   91A.    Use of information from Roll and habitation index  
   91B.    Prohibition of disclosure or commercial use of Roll or habitation index  
   92.     Roll reviews  

   PART VII--QUALIFICATIONS AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR ENROLMENT AND FOR VOTING

   93.     Persons entitled to enrolment and to vote  
   93A.    Power to refuse to include in the Roll inappropriate names  
   94.     Enrolled voters leaving Australia  
   94A.    Enrolment from outside Australia  
   95.     Eligibility of spouse, de facto partner or child of eligible overseas elector  
   96.     Itinerant electors  
   96A.    Enrolment of prisoners  
   97.     Application of Part to Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory  

   PART VIII--ENROLMENT

   98AA.   Evidence of identity requirements  
   98.     Addition of names to Rolls  
   98A.    Refusal to include in the Roll inappropriate names  
   99.     Claims for enrolment or transfer of enrolment  
   99A.    Provisional claim for enrolment by applicant for citizenship  
   99B.    Provisional enrolment by applicant for citizenship  
   100.    Claims for age 16 enrolment  
   101.    Compulsory enrolment and transfer  
   102.    Action on receipt of claim  
   103.    Penalty on officer neglecting to enrol claimants  
   103A.   Updating or transferring a person's enrolment without claim or notice from the person  
   103B.   Enrolling unenrolled person without claim or notice from the person  
   104.    Request for address not to be shown on Roll  
   105.    Alteration of Rolls  
   106.    Incorrect enrolment  
   107.    Alterations to be initialled  
   108.    Lists of deaths to be forwarded  
   109.    Lists of persons serving, or ceasing to serve, sentences of imprisonment to be forwarded  
   110.    Electoral Commissioner to act on receipt of information  
   111.    Computer records relating to Roll  
   112.    Application of Part to Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory  

   PART IX--OBJECTIONS

   113.    Interpretation  
   114.    Objection to enrolment  
   115.    Form and manner of objection  
   116.    Notice of objection  
   118.    Determination of objection  

   PART X--REVIEW OF DECISIONS

   120.    Internal review  
   121.    Review by Administrative Appeals Tribunal  
   122.    Application of Part to Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory  

   PART XI--REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES

   123.    Interpretation  
   124.    Registration of political parties  
   125.    Register of Political Parties  
   126.    Application for registration  
   127.    Party not to be registered during election  
   129.    Parties with certain names not to be registered  
   129A.   Certain party logos not to be entered in the Register  
   130.    Different levels of party may be registered  
   131.    Variation of application  
   132.    Procedure for dealing with application  
   132A.   Electoral Commission to give reasons for decisions under this Part  
   133.    Registration  
   134.    Changes to Register  
   134A.   Objection to continued use of name or logo  
   135.    Voluntary deregistration  
   136.    Deregistration of party failing to endorse candidates or ceasing to be a Parliamentary party  
   137.    Deregistration of political party on other grounds  
   138.    Deregistration  
   138A.   Review of eligibility of parties to remain in the Register  
   139.    Inspection of Register  
   140.    Service of documents  
   141.    Review of certain decisions  

   PART XIII--WRITS FOR ELECTIONS

   151.    Issue of writs for election of Senators for Territories  
   152.    Forms of writs  
   153.    Writs for election of Senators  
   154.    Writs for election of members of House of Representatives  
   155.    Date for close of Rolls  
   156.    Date of nomination  
   157.    Date of polling  
   158.    Polling to be on a Saturday  
   159.    Date of return of writ  
   160.    General election to be held on same day  
   161.    Application of Part  

   PART XIV--THE NOMINATIONS

   162.    Candidates must be nominated  
   163.    Qualifications for nomination  
   164.    State and Territory members not entitled to be nominated  
   165.    Multiple nominations prohibited  
   166.    Mode of nomination  
   167.    To whom nominations made  
   168.    Grouping of candidates  
   169.    Notification of party endorsement  
   169A.   Notification of independent candidacy  
   169B.   Verification of party endorsement  
   169C.   Combination of requests and nominations  
   170.    Requisites for nomination  
   171.    Form of consent to act  
   172.    Rejection of nominations and requests  
   173.    Deposit to be forfeited in certain cases  
   174.    Place of nomination  
   175.    Hour of nomination  
   176.    Declaration of nominations  
   177.    Withdrawal of consent to a nomination  
   178.    Return of deposit in case of candidate's death  
   179.    Proceedings on nomination day  
   180.    Death of candidate after nomination  
   181.    Failure of election  

   PART XV--POSTAL VOTING

   182.    Interpretation  
   183.    Grounds of application for postal vote  
   184.    Application for postal vote  
   184A.   Application for registration as general postal voter  
   184AA.  Application forms for postal votes  
   184B.   Register of General Postal Voters  
   185.    Registration as general postal voter  
   185B.   Review of Registers  
   185C.   Cancellation of registration  
   186.    Dispatch of postal voting papers to registered general postal voters  
   188.    Issue of certificate and ballot papers  
   188A.   Dealing with application after issue of certificate and ballot paper  
   189.    Inspection of applications  
   189A.   Access to electronic list of postal vote applicants  
   189B.   Restriction on use or disclosure of information  
   192.    Form of postal vote certificate  
   193.    Authorised witnesses  
   194.    Postal voting  
   195.    Duty of authorised witnesses etc.  
   195A.   Procedure for dealing with postal vote certificates etc.  
   196.    Opening of postal ballot paper  
   197.    Failure to post or deliver postal vote application etc.  
   198.    Inducing person to hand over marked ballot paper  
   199.    Correction of formal errors  
   200.    Mistakes  

   PART XVA--PRE-POLL VOTING

           Division 1--Introduction

   200AA.  Guide to this Part  

           Division 2--General matters

   200A.   Grounds of application for pre-poll vote  
   200B.   Pre-poll voting officers  
   200BA.  Pre-poll voting offices  
   200C.   Application for pre-poll vote  
   200D.   Place and time of application  
   200DA.  Scrutineers at the pre-poll voting office  
   200DB.  Provisions relating to scrutineers at pre-poll voting office  

           Division 3--Voting by pre-poll ordinary vote

              Subdivision A--Preliminary

   200DC.  Definitions  
   200DD.  Where is pre-poll ordinary voting available?  
   200DE.  Separate voting compartments  
   200DF.  Ballot-boxes  

              Subdivision B--Voting by pre-poll ordinary vote

   200DG.  When is a person entitled to vote by pre-poll ordinary vote?  
   200DI.  Questions to be put to voter  
   200DJ.  Right of voter to receive ballot paper  
   200DK.  Voter to mark vote on ballot paper  
   200DL.  Assistance to certain voters  
   200DM.  Voter not entitled to vote again etc.  

              Subdivision C--Requirements relating to ballot-boxes

   200DN.  Subdivision sets out requirements to be complied with  
   200DO.  Requirements to be complied with before first use of ballot-box  
   200DP.  Requirements to be complied with at end of each day of use of ballot-box  
   200DQ.  Requirements to be complied with before ballot-box used again on later day  
   200DR.  Forwarding of ballot-boxes for purposes of scrutiny  

           Division 4--Voting by pre-poll declaration vote

   200DS.  Persons to whom this Division applies  
   200E.   Pre-poll declaration voting  
   200F.   Form of pre-poll vote certificate for declaration voting  
   200G.   Record of issue of pre-poll voting papers  
   200J.   Opening of pre-poll voting envelope  
   200K.   Obligations of persons present when pre-poll vote cast  
   201.    Correction of formal errors  
   202.    Mistakes  

   PART XVB--ELECTRONICALLY ASSISTED VOTING FOR SIGHT-IMPAIRED PEOPLE

   202AA.  Definitions  
   202AB.  Regulations may provide for voting by an electronically assisted voting method  
   202AC.  There must be a record of who has voted using the electronically assisted voting method  
   202AD.  There must be a record of the vote  
   202AE.  How this Act applies in relation to voting using the electronically assisted voting method  
   202AF.  Electoral Commissioner may decide that electronically assisted voting method is not to be used  

   PART XVI--THE POLLING

   202A.   Undertaking by officers and scrutineers  
   203.    Arrangements for polling  
   204.    Substitute  
   205.    Use of licensed premises as polling booth  
   206.    Separate voting compartments  
   207.    Ballot-boxes  
   208.    Certified lists of voters  
   208A.   Approved list of voters  
   209.    Ballot papers  
   209A.   Official mark  
   210.    Printing of Senate ballot papers  
   210A.   Form of party name on ballot papers  
   212.    Ballot papers for House of Representatives elections  
   213.    Determination of order of names  
   214.    Printing of political party names etc. on ballot papers  
   214A.   Printing of party logos on ballot papers  
   215.    Ballot papers to be initialled  
   217.    Scrutineers at the polling  
   218.    Provisions relating to scrutineers  
   219.    Participation by candidates in conduct of election  
   220.    The polling  
   221.    Elections at which electors entitled to vote  
   222.    Where electors may vote  
   223.    Interpretation  
   224.    Hospitals that are polling places  
   226.    Provisions related to section 224  
   227.    Mobile booths  
   228.    Forwarding of declaration votes  
   229.    Questions to be put to voter  
   230.    Errors not to forfeit vote  
   231.    Right of elector to receive ballot paper  
   232.    Voters to be recorded  
   233.    Vote to be marked in private  
   234.    Assistance to certain voters  
   234A.   Certain voters may vote outside polling place  
   235.    Provisional votes  
   238.    Spoilt ballot papers  
   238A.   Discarded ballot papers  
   238B.   Ballot-boxes opened before close of poll  
   239.    Marking of votes in Senate election  
   240.    Marking of votes in House of Representatives election  
   240A.   Temporary suspension of polling  
   241.    Adjournment of polling  
   242.    Adjournment in other cases  
   243.    Voting at adjourned polling  
   244.    Arrangement where elections held in some Divisions only  
   245.    Compulsory voting  

   PART XVII--SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE POLLING IN ANTARCTICA

   246.    Interpretation  
   247.    Antarctic Returning Officers and Assistant Antarctic Returning Officers  
   248.    Application of Part XVI to polling in Antarctica  
   249.    Antarctic electors  
   250.    Arrangements for the polling in Antarctica  
   251.    Ballot papers to be initialled  
   252.    Candidates not to take part in polling  
   253.    The polling in Antarctica  
   254.    Entitlement of Antarctic electors to vote  
   255.    Questions to be put to voter at Antarctic station  
   256.    Right of Antarctic elector to receive ballot paper  
   257.    List of Antarctic electors to be marked  
   258.    Application of sections 233 and 234  
   259.    Proceedings by Antarctic Returning Officer on close of poll  
   260.    Result of the polling in Antarctica  
   261.    Preservation of ballot papers etc.  
   262.    Application of Part  

   PART XVIII--THE SCRUTINY

   263.    Scrutiny  
   264.    Scrutineers at scrutiny  
   265.    Scrutiny, how conducted  
   266.    Preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes  
   267.    Action on objections to ballot papers  
   268.    Informal ballot papers  
   268A.   Formal votes below the line  
   269.    Formal votes above the line  
   271.    Officers not to mark ballot papers so that voter can be identified  
   272.    Treatment of Senate ballot papers of voters who have voted above the line  
   273.    Scrutiny of votes in Senate elections  
   273A.   Computerised scrutiny of votes in Senate election  
   273B.   Combination of manual and computer scrutiny permitted  
   274.    Scrutiny of votes in House of Representatives elections  
   275.    Scrutiny prior to receipt of declaration ballot papers  
   276.    Provisional scrutiny  
   277.    Scrutiny for information  
   278.    Re-count at Senate elections  
   279.    Re-count at House of Representatives elections  
   279A.   Notice of re-count  
   279B.   Conduct of re-count  
   280.    Powers of officer conducting re-count  
   281.    Reservation of disputed ballot papers  
   282.    Re-count of Senate votes to determine order of election in other circumstances  

   PART XIX--THE RETURN OF THE WRITS

   283.    Return of writ for election of Senators  
   284.    Declaration of poll and return of writs for House of Representatives  
   285.    Correction of errors  
   286.    Extension of time  

   PART XX--ELECTION FUNDING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

           Division 1--Preliminary

   287.    Interpretation  
   287A.   Campaign committee to be treated as part of State branch of party  
   287B.   Designated federal party  

           Division 2--Agents

   288.    Agents of political parties  
   288A.   Principal agents  
   289.    Appointment of agents by candidates and groups  
   290.    Requisites for appointment  
   291.    Register of Party Agents  
   292.    Effect of registration etc.  
   292A.   Evidence of appointment  
   292B.   Responsibility for action when agent of party or branch dead or appointment vacant  
   292C.   Revocation of appointment of agent of candidate or group  
   292D.   Notice of death or resignation of agent of candidate or group  

           Division 3--Election funding

   294.    General entitlement to funds  
   297.    Payment not to be made in certain circumstances  
   299.    Making of payments  
   299A.   Method of making payments  
   300.    Death of candidate  
   301.    Death of member of group  
   302.    Appropriation  

           Division 4--Disclosure of donations

   303.    Interpretation  
   304.    Disclosure of gifts  
   305A.   Gifts to candidates etc.  
   305B.   Gifts to political parties  
   306.    Certain gifts not to be received  
   306A.   Certain loans not to be received  
   306B.   Repayment of gifts where corporations wound up etc.  
   307.    Nil returns  

           Division 5--Disclosure of electoral expenditure

   308.    Interpretation  
   309.    Returns of electoral expenditure  
   311A.   Annual returns of income and expenditure of Commonwealth Departments  
   313.    Nil returns  
   314.    Two or more elections on the same day  

           Division 5A--Annual returns by registered political parties and other persons

   314AA.  Interpretation  
   314AB.  Annual returns by registered political parties  
   314AC.  Amounts received  
   314AE.  Outstanding amounts  
   314AEA. Annual returns by associated entities  
   314AEB. Annual returns relating to political expenditure  
   314AEC. Annual returns relating to gifts received for political expenditure  
   314AF.  Returns not to include lists of party membership  
   314AG.  Regulations  

           Division 6--Miscellaneous

   314A.   Interpretation  
   315.    Offences  
   315A.   Recovery of payments  
   316.    Investigation etc.  
   317.    Records to be kept  
   318.    Inability to complete returns  
   319.    Non-compliance with Part does not affect election  
   319A.   Amendment of claims and returns  
   320.    Inspection and supply of copies of claims and returns  
   321.    Indexation  
   321A.   Indexation of amounts  

   PART XXI--ELECTORAL OFFENCES

   322.    Interpretation  
   323.    Officers and scrutineers to observe secrecy  
   324.    Officers not to contravene Act etc.  
   325.    Officers not to influence vote  
   325A.   Influencing votes of hospital patients etc.  
   326.    Bribery  
   327.    Interference with political liberty etc.  
   328.    Printing and publication of electoral advertisements, notices etc.  
   328A.   Publication of electoral advertisements on the internet  
   328B.   Requirements relating to how-to-vote cards  
   329.    Misleading or deceptive publications etc.  
   330.    False statements in relation to Rolls  
   331.    Heading to electoral advertisements  
   334.    Depiction etc. of certain electoral matter  
   335.    Cards in polling booth  
   336.    Signature to electoral paper  
   337.    Witnessing electoral papers  
   338.    Unlawfully marking ballot papers  
   339.    Other offences relating to ballot papers etc.  
   339A.   Officers not to interfere with etc. ballot-boxes or ballot papers  
   340.    Prohibition of canvassing near polling booths  
   341.    Badges or emblems in polling booths  
   342.    Duty of witness to claim  
   343.    Failure to transmit claim  
   345.    Employers to allow employees leave of absence to vote  
   346.    Protection of the official mark  
   347.    Disorderly behaviour at meeting  
   348.    Control of behaviour at polling booths etc.  
   351.    Publication of matter regarding candidates  

   PART XXII--COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNS

           Division 1--Disputed Elections and Returns

   352.    Interpretation  
   353.    Method of disputing elections  
   354.    The Court of Disputed Returns  
   355.    Requisites of petition  
   356.    Deposit as security for costs  
   357.    Petition by Electoral Commission  
   358.    No proceedings unless requirements complied with  
   359.    Right of Electoral Commissioner to be represented  
   360.    Powers of Court  
   361.    Inquiries by Court  
   362.    Voiding election for illegal practices etc.  
   363.    Court to report cases of illegal practices  
   363A.   Court must make its decision quickly  
   364.    Real justice to be observed  
   364A.   Provision for Court to have regard to certain rejected ballot papers  
   365.    Immaterial errors not to vitiate election  
   365A.   Election not affected by failure of delivery arrangement  
   366.    Errors relating to printing of party affiliations  
   367.    Evidence that person not permitted to vote  
   367A.   Disposal of petition where election cannot be decided  
   368.    Decisions to be final  
   369.    Copies of petition and order of Court to be sent to House affected, Governor-General and Speaker  
   370.    Representation of parties before Court  
   371.    Costs  
   372.    Deposit applicable for costs  
   373.    Other costs  
   374.    Effect of decision  
   375.    Power to make Rules of Court  
   375A.   Right of Electoral Commission to have access to documents  

           Division 2--Qualifications and vacancies

   376.    Reference of question as to qualification or vacancy  
   377.    President or Speaker to state case  
   378.    Parties to the reference  
   379.    Powers of Court  
   380.    Order to be sent to House affected  
   381.    Application of certain sections  

   PART XXIII--MISCELLANEOUS

   381A.   Extension of time for acts by officers  
   382.    General provisions about enrolment-related claims etc.  
   383.    Injunctions  
   384.    Prosecution of offences  
   385.    Certificate evidence  
   385A.   Evidence of authorship or authorisation of material  
   386.    Disqualification for bribery and undue influence  
   386A.   Immunity from suit  
   387.    Electoral matters to be sent free by post  
   387A.   Service of process by mail  
   388.    Averments deemed to be proved  
   389.    Defendant may be called upon to give evidence  
   390.    Production of claims for enrolment etc.  
   390A.   Claims for enrolment etc. not to be subject to warrants  
   391.    Record of claims for enrolment etc.  
   392.    Forms  
   393A.   Preservation of documents  
   394.    No State or Territory vote to be held on polling day  
   395.    Regulations  
           SCHEDULE 1 Forms
           SCHEDULE 2 Grounds of application for postal or pre-poll vote
           SCHEDULE 3 Rules for the conduct of a preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes


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