This has been an extraordinary year for our agency. We made history by achieving a number of electoral firsts, and broke a number of electoral size and scale records.
Commentary and speculation about candidate eligibility requirements of Section 44 of the Constitution continued to be a focus this year. It began with the ‘Super Saturday’ by-elections in the five divisions of Longman (Queensland), Mayo (South Australia), Braddon (Tasmania), Fremantle and Perth (Western Australia) on 28 July 2018— the most by elections conducted simultaneously since Federation.
We also implemented changes to the nomination process by introducing an option for people wishing to stand as candidates to confirm their eligibility to be elected to Parliament through a qualification checklist.
The AEC conducted a further by-election in the Division of Wentworth. This was the ninth by-election held this electoral cycle—the highest number of by-elections conducted during any one cycle in more than 30 years.
We also invested heavily in planning and preparing for the 2019 federal election, including developing new procedures and processes to further improve the voter experience. The by elections were a great opportunity for us to test these before the federal election.
A record 16,424,248 Australians enrolled to vote in the 2019 federal election, making it the largest electoral roll in Australian history. This follows almost 100,000 additions to the roll in the week preceding the close of rolls, which increased the national enrolment rate to a remarkable 97 per cent1.
* An enrolment rate of 96.8 per cent was published at close of rolls for the 2019 federal election. This figure was based on preliminary population estimates and has now been revised to 97.0 per cent for the 2019 federal election. ↩