Whats new for the 2010 House of Assembly elections

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission is always looking for new ways to make voting more accessible. The following is a summary of the major electoral changes and innovations that have occurred since the 2006 House of Assembly elections.

New House of Assembly electoral boundaries

In 2009, the Commonwealth conducted a review of the Federal House of Representatives electoral boundaries in Tasmania. The previous redistribution of these boundaries in Tasmania was completed in 2000.  The process is similar to that required under state legislation for the redistribution of Legislative Council boundaries.

The review made adjustments to the boundaries to reflect population changes in different parts of the state.  Consistent with previous redistributions, the Tasmanian Parliament changed the state electoral divisions to align them with the new federal divisions.  These changes mean that about 4.5 percent of voters, or 16,000 people, will be voting in a different electoral division at the 2010 House of Assembly elections to the one they would have voted in at the 2006 House of Assembly elections.

Who are my representatives

Do you know who are your representatives in the Australian Parliament, the Tasmanian Parliament and your local council?

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has developed a new educational online service (MyReps) where you can enter your Tasmanian address and be shown what divisions you live in and who your representatives are. You can also see a map or satellite image of your address.

Go to myreps to find out who your representatives are.

Express voting

The TEC is introducing a new procedure (called Express Voting) for voters who are overseas or in remote areas. For an area to be declared a remote area, the Commissioner must be satisfied that electors in that area do not have a sufficient postal service to make use of normal postal voting procedures.

Express voting allows approved voters to receive their ballot paper and a special declaration form by fax or email.  The voter then completes both the ballot paper and declaration and can return them by fax, email or post. 

To verify someone’s identity, the signature on the declaration can be compared to the voter’s signature on their enrolment form.

Express votes returned by fax or email must be with the TEC before the close of polls at 6pm Saturday 20 March (Tasmanian time).  Express votes returned by post will have the normal return of postal votes period to be received by the TEC (closes 10 am Tuesday 30 March).

Vision-impaired voting

For the first time in House of Assembly elections, blind and vision-impaired voters can use a computer-based system (VI-Vote) to independently cast a ballot paper in secret. VI-Vote was first used at the 2007 Legislative Council elections, and has been used at all Legislative Council elections since.

Vision-impaired electors can mark their ballot paper using voice prompts through headphones, which enable the elector to make their preferences. Preferences are read back to the elector, before being printed on the ballot paper. The elector’s preferences are printed on a normal sized ballot paper as numbers that resemble handwriting. The elector can then place the ballot paper in the ballot box by himself or herself.

VI-Vote will be available in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie during the pre-poll period. 
VI-Vote will also be available at specific locations on polling day.

Call 13 23 26 for further details.

Free SMS reminder service

Since June 2009 the Tasmanian Electoral Commission has provided a free SMS service for electors wishing to receive reminders when they need to vote at national, state or local government elections. 

For the 2010 House of Assembly elections, voters who have signed up for this service will receive three brief reminders: at the start of pre-poll voting, two days before polling day and 3pm on polling day. Tasmanian electors can sign up at any time. 

Go to votealert for more information or to sign up.

Easier voting processes in polling places

For the first time in Tasmania, those voting at polling places outside their division will not be required to complete an absent vote. 

Instead of printed rolls, electors will be marked off an electronic roll on new netbook computers. All five division election rolls will be placed on each computer, meaning that all electors can be marked directly off the roll for their division regardless of which polling place they choose to vote at.

Previously, those completing an absent vote were required to go to a separate table to complete a special declaration form and have their ballot paper sealed in the envelope for processing after polling day. The electronic searching for voters will make the voting process faster and more convenient for voters and election officials, and ensure voters are voting for the correct division they are enrolled in.

Different coloured ballot papers

Now that ballot papers for all five divisions will be placed in a single ballot box in polling places, the ballot papers for election have a specific colour.  The ballot paper colours are:

  • Bass - blue
  • Braddon – brown
  • Denison – daffodil
  • Franklin – fuchsia
  • Lyons – lime

Robson Rotation extended

Robson rotation is a process of rotating candidate names within a column so that favoured (top and bottom) positions are shared equally between all candidates. In 1979, Neil Robson, then a member of the House of Assembly, introduced the process to the Tasmanian Parliament.

A review into Robson rotation was undertaken in 2008 found that doubling the number of rotations would increase the effectiveness of Robson rotation. The new pattern of rotations include a second rotation where all candidates listed under the top candidate are in reverse order to each original rotation.

The 2010 House of Assembly elections will be the first time this extended version will be used.

Legislative Council elections will also use the extended version of Robson rotation.  Local government elections will not use the extended version, as there is no real benefit for the added complexity.

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This page was last modified at 4:22:19 PM Thursday, 18 February 2010
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