If you’re over 18, chances are you voted in this year’s federal election – with a pencil and a piece of paper that you slotted into a cardboard ballot box.
But now, the Australian government is asking Australians if it should do away with the whole paper-based system and instead switch to something a bit more modern.
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is asking Australians to make a submission to them about whether or not technology should play a greater role in the election process.
James McGrath, chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, said the new generation of voters were more comfortable with swiping than scribbling.
“Australian elections are still reliant on pencils and paper. Personally I don’t think electronic voting is the solution – but we do need to consider how the AEC can use new technology to improve service delivery,” McGrath said.
Australians will be asked to submit their views on “all aspects of the conduct of the 2019 Federal election and matters related thereto”.
“It’s not just about what happens in the polling booth,” McGrath said.
“We need to find out how technology can help with the huge job of maintaining the electoral roll, processing information between polling centres – and even replacing electoral related snail mail.”
MP Tim Wilson has already entered his submission, calling for polls to be open for a longer amount of time.
“It is my view that opening the polls three weeks in advance is too early,” Wilson wrote.
“They should instead be opened one week earlier locally and three weeks earlier for Central Business Districts and airports.”
Submissions close on Friday 20 September and should be made to Inquiry into and report on all aspects of the conduct of the 2019 Federal Election and matters related thereto on the Parliament of Australia’s website.
Some Australian states – WA and and NSW – have already successfully trialled e-voting.
But cost, security and verification of results were reasons the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters gave in 2017 as to why we don’t e-vote.
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