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Active electoral roll management

The Commonwealth Electoral Roll—the list of Australians eligible to vote at federal elections—is integral to election delivery. The AEC’s key electoral roll activities are:

  • encouraging eligible voters to enrol and keep their enrolment up to date
  • targeted enrolment programs
  • enrolment processing
  • measuring accuracy of the roll

The AEC also supports state, territory and local government elections, by-elections and referendums by managing the electoral roll through joint roll arrangements. Information from the roll is provided to authorised people and groups in accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act). See Appendix C: Commonwealth electoral roll information

Highlights of the year

Largest electoral roll continues to grow

Australia continues to have the largest Commonwealth Electoral Roll since Federation, with more than 16.6 million Australians enrolled to vote at 30 June 2020.

The enrolment rate of 96.5 per cent continues to exceed the AEC’s target of 95 per cent. However, the estimated number of eligible Australians not enrolled has increased from 489,294 at 30 June 2019 to 596,621 at 30 June 2020. This is to be expected in the year following a federal election.

The Indigenous enrolment rate

The AEC’s Indigenous Electoral Participation Program (IEPP) aims to increase the enrolment of Indigenous Australians. Reliable Indigenous enrolment rates inform and enable more effective, evidence-based policy settings and targeted activities to increase the electoral participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Estimated Indigenous enrolment rates are now published annually at www.aec.gov.au

Roll data and extracts

Under the Electoral Act, the AEC is required to provide electoral roll data or extracts to registered political parties, government departments, and other recipients as specified. This includes providing electoral roll information to companies that provide identity verification services to other businesses.

A list of the current companies entitled to receive roll information for identity verification is set out in Regulation 8 of the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016. Under subsection 90B(4) of the Electoral Act, private sector organisations may receive roll information for identity verification processes related to the Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 and the Anti-Money Laundering
and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006

Government departments and agencies are also entitled to receive electoral roll information if they are a ‘prescribed authority’ under item 4 of subsection 90B(4) of the Electoral Act. Each department and agency must justify access through its statutory functions and the Privacy Act 1988.

A list of registered political parties, government departments, and other recipients of roll data and extracts is in Appendix C: Commonwealth electoral roll information. More information on access to electoral roll data is at www.aec.gov.au

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