The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums and maintaining the Commonwealth electoral roll.
Between 1973 and 1984 it was known as the Australian Electoral Office and was first established as a branch of the Department of Home Affairs in 1902.
On 21 February 1984 following major amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) was established as an independent statutory authority.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums and maintaining the Commonwealth electoral roll. The AEC also provides a range of electoral information and education programs and activities. Further responsibilities of the AEC can be found under the role and functions of the AEC.
The AEC's structure is shown in the AEC Organisation Chart [PDF 90KB].
The AEC is managed by a three-person Australian Electoral Commission (Commission). The Commission is headed by a Chairperson, who must be an active or retired judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the Electoral Commissioner, and a non-judicial member.
At 30 June 2010, the Commission consisted of:
Assisting the Electoral Commissioner in the national office are the Deputy Electoral Commissioner, two First Assistant Commissioners, six Assistant Commissioners, the Chief Finance Officer and the Chief Legal Officer. State managers, who hold the statutory appointment of Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for each state and the Northern Territory during election periods, also assist the Electoral Commissioner in managing electoral activities within their State or Territory. Three Assistant Commissioners and two state managers have the added responsibility of being national program managers. The ACT is managed by the NSW state manager, except during election periods when an ACT AEO is appointed.
The AEC has a National Office in Canberra, a State Office in each State capital and a Northern Territory office in Darwin. Each State is divided into Electoral Divisions. Each division has a Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) who is responsible for electoral administration within that division, in particular, the maintenance of the electoral roll and preparations for the next electoral event.
|Name||Position||Term||Legislative provision for existence of role|
|Ed Killesteyn||Electoral Commissioner||5 years from 05/01/2009||Subsection 18(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Tom Rogers||Deputy Electoral Commissioner||5 years from 01/01/2012||Subsection 19(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Doug Orr||Australian Electoral Officer NSW||5 years from 01/03/2010||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Robert Pugsley||Australian Electoral Officer NT||5 years from 23/03/2011||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Anne Bright||Australian Electoral Officer QLD||5 years from 16/08/2012||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Claire Witham||Australian Electoral Officer SA||5 years from 30/06/2011||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Sandra Riordan||Australian Electoral Officer TAS||5 years from 23/03/2011||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Jenni McMullan||Australian Electoral Officer VIC||5years from 14/12/2009||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Peter Kramer||Australian Electoral Officer WA||5 years from 04/01/2010||Subsection 20(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
|Peter Heerey||AEC Chairperson||5 years from 23/07/2009||Subsection 6(2)(a) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918|
The AEC also has Divisional Office Managers appointed under S22 of the Public Service Act 1999, who perform the functions of Divisional Returning Officer under Subsection 32(1) Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
The Special Minister of State is the Minister responsible for electoral matters.
The role of the AEC is –
to deliver the franchise: that is, an Australian citizen's right to vote, as established by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
The AEC implements the Parliament's directives on electoral policy as embodied in the legislation. As outlined in the 2010–11 Portfolio Budget Statements, the AEC has one primary outcome for which we are funded, namely:
It does this through three programs:
Program Objective – Voter entitlement for Australians and support for electoral events and redistributions through maintaining an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll.
Program Objective – Access to an impartial and independent electoral system for Australians through the provision of election services.
Program Objective – Informed Australians through the provision of information services on electoral matters.
The AEC has seven core business functions. This means we:
The AEC's ABN is 21 133 285 851