Electoral Issues

Every Australian citizen over the age of eighteen is entitled to vote in elections, referendums and plebiscites. Vote Australia believes there are six key issues in our electoral system.

1. How we enrol to vote

The process to confirm the identity of a person who enrols to vote is not robust. This opens up the system to manipulation and if a dishonest person registers to vote in a fake name, the votes of honest voters are devalued.

2. How we vote at the polling booth

Current legislation enables voters to vote at any polling place in their electorate. As identification is not asked for at the polling booth, a dishonest person could vote multiple times at different polling booths because there is no electronic roll that would prevent that. And because no identification is required, fake voters could vote many times.

3. Preferential voting

Voting in a federal election uses the preferential voting system, where a preference in numerical order has to be made for each candidate. So if a candidate fails to receive a majority of the vote, the second, then third and so on preferences determine who wins. It is referred to as the ‘two-party preferred’ vote, as it has to come down to a contest between two candidates. Some state elections require optional preferential voting, where it is optional for a voter to record a second preference vote, and so on.

Unfortunately, many voters do not understand preferential voting. They follow a how-to-vote card but not know what they are really doing. They may indicate a first preference for a candidate only to discover that their second or third preference has elected a candidate they did not prefer. Therefore, it could be argued that sometimes the wrong candidates get elected.

4. Electoral boundary redistributions

The Australian Electoral Commission routinely calls for submissions from political parties, politicians and the public as to how boundaries of electorates should be drawn. If a redistribution favours an opponent there are complaints. The lesson to be learnt is that we all should have an interest in the political process and argue for what we see as in the best interest for us and our community.

5. Eligibility of politicians

An Australian citizen cannot sit in federal parliament while being a citizen of another nation. This became an issue in 2018 with four by-elections being held after the High Court disqualified dual citizen members of federal parliament.

6. Foreign influences

Much has been alleged about Russian interference in the US elections in 2016. There is talk of potential interference in upcoming Australian elections by other nations. Both, if true, would be a serious blow to the impartiality of our democracies.

At Vote Australia, we will monitor these issues, provide solutions for improvement, and educate the public about them.



Add your name and let’s keep Australian elections free and fair.

  • commented on Unwanted influences on the voting system 2023-11-23 12:15:44 +1100
    Please I need your vote

  • signed Mark Off Voters Electronically 2023-10-04 12:37:02 +1100
    This must be done to ensure that a voter casts only one vote, besides proposed changes in this petition there should be way for voter to cross check their voting status (voted/yet to vote) for every election event

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 22:49:29 +1000
    John de Wit, less empty negative comments please.

    I’m happy to answer real questions if you’re not yet clear how DCAP works to guarantee fair results. I sympathise – it took me ages to fully understand why current voting systems fail voters and then years to work out how to correct it and then to twig to the simple maths behind it and finally to be able to give simple examples that demonstrate it.

    E.g. it is not obvious that my DCAP system is correct when it will declare that Party D, of 4 parties standing, and with 45% first preferences is the winner despite Party A having 51% first preferences. But that is correct IF, repeat IF, in the election Party A had 49% of 4th (or LAST) preferences and party D had 55% of 2nd preferences. I have proved that particular case, no matter what preferences parties B and C get within the values I specified. Can anyone prove me mathematically &/or logically wrong there? No way! The correct Proportional results in a 100 seat electorate is NOT A=51 seats and D=45 Seats. The correct results is A=27 Seats and D=41 seats with B&C sharing the remaining 33 seats.

    So, it will not be a majority Government for A in its own right. Rather, it will be a minority government, of probably D in coalition with B or C; or, a slim chance of A running a minority government. Apart from the speculation of who will arrange a coalition; who can logically prove I’m wrong and that that voters preferences showed that they collectively wanted A as a majority government? It can’t be done unless you ignore voters’ clear collective preferences. The fact is that a marginal “absolute majorities” may be a real win; or, a travesty of electoral justice simply because Distribution of Preferences (AKA Instant Run Off) and First-Past-The-Post systems are inherently incapable of guaranteeing a fair result.

    I have proved that. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 16:55:04 +1000
    Peter Newland,
    Your arithmetic is very complex compared to a single vote for the party of your choice. There is no assumption that you should agree with every policy of that party. You just choose the party and candidate you think is best.