Research Report 3 - Analysis of Declaration Voting: Appendix 2

Updated: 30 May 2013

Appendix 2 Extracts from Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

Part XV – Postal voting

182 Interpretation

In this Part: appropriate DRO, in relation to an application or anything to be done by an elector, means the DRO for the Division for which the elector is enrolled. Register, in relation to a Division, means the Register of General Postal Voters for the Division.

183 Grounds of application for postal vote

An elector may apply for a postal vote on any of the grounds set out in Schedule 2.

184 Application for postal vote

(1) An application shall be in writing in the approved form and shall:
(a) contain a declaration by the applicant that he or she is an elector entitled to apply for a postal vote; and
(b) be signed by the applicant in the presence of an authorised witness (but see subsection (3A)).
(2) An application made in Australia shall be made to a DRO.
(3) An application made outside Australia shall be made to an Assistant Returning Officer or a DRO.
(3A) An application made outside Australia that does not meet the requirement in paragraph (1)(b) is taken to meet that requirement for the purposes of this Act if:
(a) the application is accompanied by a signed statement by the applicant setting out why the applicant was unable to meet the requirement; and
(b) the Assistant Returning Officer or DRO is satisfied that the applicant made reasonable efforts to comply with the requirement; and
(c) the application is accompanied by a photocopy, that is certified by the applicant to be a true copy, of a part of the applicant's passport that includes:
(i) the country and date of issue and the number of the passport; and
(ii) the applicant's name, date of birth and signature; and
(iii) a photograph of the applicant.
(4) An application for a postal vote may not be made until after the issue of the writ for the election in relation to which a postal vote is sought or the public announcement of the proposed date for the polling, whichever is the earlier.
(5) An application shall be regarded as not having been made if it reaches the officer to whom it is directed after 6 p.m. on the day before polling day in the election.

184A Application for registration as general postal voter

(1) An elector may apply to the appropriate DRO for registration as a general postal voter.
(2) An application shall be made on one of the following grounds:
(a) the applicant's real place of living is not within 20 kilometres, by the shortest practicable route:
(i) of any polling place; or
(ii) of any place determined under paragraph 227(4)(a) to be a place that will be visited by mobile polling teams for the purposes of section 227;
(b) the applicant:
(i) is a patient at a hospital (other than a special hospital or a hospital that is a polling place); and
(ii) because of serious illness or infirmity, is unable to travel from the hospital to a polling place;
(c) because of serious illness or infirmity, the applicant is unable to travel from the place where he or she lives to a polling place;
(ca) because the applicant will be at a place (other than a hospital) caring for a person who is seriously ill or infirm, the applicant is unable to travel from that place to a polling place;
(d) the applicant is detained in custody;
(e) the enrolment of the applicant was obtained by means of a claim signed under subsection 98(3);
(f) a registered medical practitioner has certified, in writing, that the applicant is so physically incapacitated as to be incapable of signing his or her name;
(g) the applicant's address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104;
(h) because of the applicant's religious beliefs or membership of a religious order, the applicant:
(i) is precluded from attending a polling booth; or
(ii) for the greater part of the hours of polling on polling day, is precluded from attending a polling booth.
(3) An application in respect of an elector to whom paragraph (2)(e) or (f) applies may be made by another person on behalf of the elector.
(4) The certificate referred to in paragraph (2)(f) shall be lodged with an application made on the ground set out in that paragraph.

184AA Application forms for postal votes

(1) An application form for a postal vote may be physically attached to, or form part of, other written material issued by any person or organisation.
(2) For the purposes of the Copyright Act 1968, if a person other than the owner of the copyright in the application form for a postal vote reproduces the application form, the person is not taken to have infringed the copyright in the application form.

184B Register of General Postal Voters

(1) The DRO for a Division shall keep a Register of General Postal Voters in respect of the Division.
(2) The Register shall be available at the office of the DRO during ordinary office hours for inspection, without fee, by members of the public.

185 Registration as general postal voter

(1) If the DRO to whom an application has been made is satisfied that the application has been made in accordance with section 184A, the DRO shall register the applicant as a general postal voter.
(2) Where:
(a) a claim for enrolment or transfer of enrolment is made to the appropriate DRO;
(b) the claim is signed under subsection 98(3); and
(c) the claim indicates that the claimant wishes to be registered as a general postal voter;
the DRO shall register the claimant as a general postal voter.
(3) Where an elector who is registered as a general postal voter for a Division (in this subsection called the original Division) makes a claim for transfer of enrolment to another Division (the new Division), the matter shall be dealt with as follows:
(a) when notified of the transfer of enrolment, the DRO for the original Division shall notify the DRO for the new Division that the elector was so registered;
(b) the DRO for the original Division shall cancel the registration of the elector; and
(c) except in the case of an elector whose address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104, the DRO for the new Division shall register the elector unless the DRO is satisfied that the elector would not be entitled to registration on application under subsection 184A(1).
(4) Registration of an elector as a general postal voter for a Division is effected by entering in the Register the following particulars of the elector:
(a) full name;
(b) except in the case of an elector whose address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104, the address shown in the Roll as the real place of living of the elector;
(c) such other particulars (if any) as the Electoral Commission determines.
(5) A DRO who registers an elector as a general postal voter shall notify the elector in writing of the registration.
(6) A DRO who decides not to register an elector as a general postal voter shall notify the elector in writing of the decision and of the reasons for it.

185B Review of Registers

The DRO for a Division shall, when so directed by the Electoral Commission, examine the Register for the Division and make such alterations to the Register as are necessary to ensure that:
(a) only electors entitled to be registered as general postal voters for the Division are so registered; and
(b) the particulars entered in the Register are accurate.

185C Cancellation of registration

(1) The DRO for a Division may cancel the registration of an elector as a general postal voter for the Division if the DRO is satisfied that the ground on which the elector applied for registration no longer exists.
(2) The DRO shall give to the elector, personally or by post, written notice of the cancellation and of the elector's right to request the DRO to refer the cancellation to the Australian Electoral Officer for the State for which the elector is enrolled for review under section 120.

186 Dispatch of postal voting papers to registered general postal voters

(1) As soon as a DRO for a Division receives ballot-papers for a Senate election or a House of Representatives election, or both, as the case may be, the DRO must send or arrange for the delivery of postal voting papers to each registered general postal voter for the Division.
(2) In this section:
postal voting papers means:
(a) a postal vote certificate; and
(b) one postal ballot-paper for a Senate election or one postal ballot-paper for a House of Representatives election, or both, as the case requires; and
(c) an envelope addressed to the DRO.

187 Duty of witness

(1) A person shall not witness the signature of another person (in this section called the elector) on an application for a postal vote unless:
(a) the person is satisfied of the identity of the elector;
(b) the person has seen the elector sign the application; and
(c) either:
(i) the person knows that the statements in the application are true; or
(ii) the person is satisfied, on the basis of inquiries of the elector or otherwise, that the statements in the application are true.
Penalty: $500.
(2) The person who witnesses the signature of the elector to the application shall sign the application in his or her own handwriting and write on the application the date of signature.

188 Issue of certificate and ballot-papers

(1) A DRO or Assistant Returning Officer who receives an application, properly signed and witnessed, for a postal vote shall post or arrange to be delivered to the applicant:
(a) a postal vote certificate; and
(b) one postal ballot-paper for a Senate election or one postal ballot-paper for a House of Representatives election, or both, as the case requires; and
(c) an envelope addressed:
(i) if the application is provided to an Assistant Returning Officer outside Australia – to the Assistant Returning Officer or to the DRO for the Division for which the applicant declares that he or she is enrolled; or
(ii) otherwise – to the DRO for the Division for which the applicant declares that he or she is enrolled.
Note: An application may be taken to be properly witnessed because of subsection 184(3A).
(2) In spite of subsection (1), where the application is received after the last mail clearance at the nearest post office on the last Thursday before polling day, the DRO or Assistant Returning Officer shall not post to the applicant a postal vote certificate or ballot-paper.

189 Inspection of applications

(1) A DRO who issues a postal vote certificate and postal ballot-paper shall:
(a) write on the application the date of issue of the certificate and ballot-paper; and
(b) if the DRO is not the appropriate DRO, send the application to the appropriate DRO.
(2) An Assistant Returning Officer who issues a postal vote certificate and postal ballot-paper shall:
(a) write on the application the date of issue of the certificate and ballot-paper; and
(b) deal with the application in accordance with subsection 228(8).
(3) Subject to subsection (4), all applications for postal votes in relation to which a DRO is the appropriate DRO shall be open to public inspection at the office of the DRO during ordinary office hours from and including the third day after polling day until the election can no longer be questioned.
(4) A DRO, before making applications for postal votes available for public inspection, must remove from any application by a person whose address has been removed from the Roll under section 104, all information other than the person's name.

189A Access to electronic list of postal vote applicants

(1) A request for a list, in electronic form, of the postal vote applicants may be made to the Electoral Commission by:
(a) a candidate in a Senate election if the postal vote applications are in respect of any Division in the State or Territory for which the candidate stood for election; or
(b) a candidate in a House of Representatives election if the postal vote applications are in respect of the Division for which the candidate stood for election; or
(c) a registered political party if the postal vote applications are in respect of a Division in a State or Territory on the basis of which a branch or division of the party is organised.
The request may be made on or after the third day after polling day and before the election can no longer be questioned.
(2) The Electoral Commission must, as soon as practicable, comply with such a request.
(3) The list may include the name and date of birth of a postal vote applicant and the address in respect of which the applicant claims to be enrolled.
(4) However, before providing the list to a person or party, the Electoral Commission must remove from it all information concerning a person whose address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104, other than the person's name.

189B Restriction on use or disclosure of information

Use of information
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if the person:
(a) uses information obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission; and
(b) the use of the information is not for a permitted purpose (see subsections (4) and (5)).
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.
Disclosure of information
(2) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person discloses information; and
(b) the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the information has been obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission; and
(c) the disclosure would not be a use of the information for a permitted purpose (see subsections (4) and (5)).
Maximum penalty: 1,000 penalty units.
Use of information for a commercial purpose
(3) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person uses information for a commercial purpose; and
(b) the person knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the information has been obtained from an electronic list of postal vote applicants provided by the Electoral Commission.
Maximum penalty: 1,000 penalty units.
Permitted purposes
(4) If the list was provided by the Electoral Commission to a candidate in a Senate or House of Representatives election, the permitted purposes are:
(a) any purpose connected with an election or referendum; and
(b) research about electoral matters; and
(c) the monitoring of the accuracy of information contained in a Roll; and
(d) the performance by the candidate of his or her functions if elected as a Senator or member in relation to a person included in the list.
(5) If the list was provided by the Electoral Commission to a registered political party, the permitted purposes are:
(a) any purpose connected with an election or referendum; and
(b) research about electoral matters; and
(c) the monitoring of the accuracy of information contained in a Roll; and
(d) the performance by a Senator or member of the House of Representatives, who is a member of the party, of his or her functions as a Senator or member in relation to a person included in the list.
Definitions
(6) In this section:
election means:
(a) a Senate election; or
(b) a House of Representatives election; or
(c) a State or Territory election; or
(d) a local government election.
referendum means a referendum conducted under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

190 Numbering of applications and certificates

(1) A DRO or Assistant Returning Officer shall allocate a number to each application for a postal vote and shall number each postal vote certificate with a number corresponding to the number of the application.
(2) The DRO or Assistant Returning Officer who issues a ballot-paper shall initial the top of the front of the paper.

192 Form of postal vote certificate

A postal vote certificate shall be in the approved form.

193 Authorised witnesses

(1) An elector whose name appears on a Roll is an authorised witness.
(2) Outside Australia, the following persons are authorised witnesses:
(a) an officer of the Defence Force or of the naval, military or air forces of a Commonwealth country;
(b) a person appointed or engaged under the Public Service Act 1999;
(c) a member of the civil or public service of a Territory or of a Commonwealth country;
(d) a Justice of the Peace for a State or Territory or a Commonwealth country;
(e) a minister of religion or medical practitioner resident in a State or Territory or a Commonwealth country;
(f) an Australian citizen.
(3) A person who is a candidate at an election is not an authorised witness in relation to the casting of a postal vote in that election.
(4) In this section:
Commonwealth country means a political entity, or part of a political entity, that is a member of the international organisation known as the Commonwealth of Nations.

194 Postal voting

(1) The following requirements for postal voting shall be substantially observed:
(a) the elector shall show the unsigned postal vote certificate and the unmarked postal ballot-paper to an authorised witness;
(b) except in the case of an elector registered as a general postal voter on the ground set out in paragraph 184A(2)(e) or (f), the elector shall sign the postal vote certificate in the presence of the authorised witness;
(c) the authorised witness shall sign the certificate as witness, adding the date and an indication of the capacity in which the witness acts;
(d) the elector shall then, in the presence of the authorised witness but so that the witness cannot see the vote, mark his or her vote on the ballot-paper, fold the ballot-paper, place it in the envelope addressed to the appropriate DRO and fasten the envelope;
(e) the elector shall post or deliver the envelope to the appropriate DRO;
(f) if the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, complete the postal vote certificate and do for the elector any act required by paragraph (d) or (e);
(g) directions under paragraph (f) may be given by reference to a how-to-vote card.
(1A) A postal vote by an elector outside Australia that does not meet the requirements in subsection (1) concerning an authorised witness is, despite that subsection, taken to meet those requirements for the purposes of this Act if:
(a) the postal vote is accompanied by a signed statement by the elector setting out why the elector was unable to comply with those requirements; and
(b) the DRO or officer dealing with the postal vote under section 195A is satisfied that the elector made reasonable efforts to comply with those requirements; and
(c) the postal vote is accompanied by a photocopy, that is certified by the elector to be a true copy, of a part of the elector's passport that includes:
(i) the country and date of issue and the number of the passport; and
(ii) the elector's name, date of birth and signature; and
(iii) a photograph of the elector.
(2) In spite of paragraph (1)(e), where:
(a) a ballot-paper, if posted before the close of the poll, would be unlikely to reach the appropriate DRO within 13 days after polling day; or
(b) a ballot-paper, if it were to be delivered to the appropriate DRO, would be unlikely to reach the DRO before the close of the poll;
the envelope containing the ballot-paper may:
(c) before the close of the poll be addressed to, and posted or delivered to, any other DRO or to an Assistant Returning Officer at a place outside Australia;
(d) be handed to a pre-poll voting officer; or
(e) be delivered, on polling day and before the close of the poll, to any presiding officer.
(3) A DRO, Assistant Returning Officer, presiding officer or pre-poll voting officer to whom an envelope containing a ballot-paper is posted or delivered under subsection (2) shall deal with the envelope and ballot-paper according to sections 195A and 228.

195 Duty of authorised witnesses etc.

Except at the request of the elector, a person shall not:
(a) interfere with an elector in relation to the marking of a postal ballot-paper; or
(b) do anything that would enable the person or any other person to find out how an elector marked a postal ballot-paper.
Penalty: $1,000.

195A Procedure for dealing with postal vote certificates etc.

(1) In this section, officer means:
(a) a pre-poll voting officer;
(b) a presiding officer; or
(c) an Assistant Returning Officer at a place outside Australia.
(2) Where:
(a) a DRO receives an envelope bearing a postal vote certificate and purporting to contain a postal ballot-paper issued in respect of a Division other than the Division for which the DRO is appointed; or
(b) an officer receives an envelope bearing a postal vote certificate and purporting to contain a postal ballot-paper;
the DRO or officer shall:
(c) endorse on the envelope "Received by me" and the date and time of receipt;
(d) sign the endorsement, adding the words "Divisional Returning Officer", "Pre-poll Voting Officer", "Presiding Officer" or "Assistant Returning Officer", as the case may be;
(e) make a record of the name of the voter and the name of the Division as shown in the postal vote certificate;
(f) deal with the envelope in accordance with section 228; and
(g) until the envelope is so dealt with, keep the envelope in a ballot-box.

196 Opening of postal ballot-paper

(1) A person other than:
(a) the DRO for the Division in respect of which a postal ballot-paper has been issued; or
(b) an officer acting at the direction of the DRO;
shall not open an envelope that purports to contain a postal ballot-paper on which a vote has been recorded.
Penalty: $500.
(2) Strict liability applies to an offence against subsection (1).
Note: For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

197 Failure to post or deliver postal vote application etc.

A person to whom an elector entrusts:
(a) an application for a postal vote; or
(b) an envelope apparently containing a postal ballot-paper;
for posting or delivery to an officer shall post or deliver the application or envelope, as the case may be, as soon as practicable.
Penalty: $1 000.

198 Inducing elector to hand over marked ballot-paper

A person shall not induce an elector to hand over to the person a postal ballot-paper on which a vote has been recorded.
Penalty: $1 000.

199 Correction of formal errors

If an officer who receives:
(a) an application for a postal vote; or
(b) a postal vote certificate;
is satisfied that the application or certificate contains a formal error, the officer may amend the application or certificate to correct the error.

200 Mistakes

(1) A postal vote shall not be rejected because only the surname of a candidate has been written on the ballot-paper if no other candidate has the same surname.
(2) A postal vote shall not be rejected because of a mistake in spelling if the elector's intention is clear.

Part XVA – Pre-poll voting

200A Grounds of application for pre-poll vote

An elector may apply for a pre-poll vote on any of the grounds set out in Schedule 2.

200B Pre-poll voting officers

The Electoral Commission may appoint a person to be a pre-poll voting officer for the purposes of this Act.

200C Application for pre-poll vote

(1) An application for a pre-poll vote may be made to:
(a) any Divisional Returning Officer;
(b) any pre-poll voting officer; or
(c) an Assistant Returning Officer at a place outside Australia.
(2) The application must be made by the elector in person.
(3) The elector making the application shall inform the officer to whom the application is made of:
(a) the Division for which the elector is enrolled; and
(b) any matters prescribed by the regulations.

200D Place and time of application

(1) An application to a DRO shall be made at the office of the DRO during ordinary office hours or during the hours of polling on polling day.
(2) An application to a pre-poll voting officer shall be made:
(a) at a place declared by the Electoral Commission, by notice published in the Gazette, to be a pre-poll voting office; and
(b) on a day, and during the hours, fixed by the Electoral Commission, by notice published in the Gazette, for such applications.
(3) An application to an Assistant Returning Officer shall be made:
(a) at the office of the Assistant Returning Officer; and
(b) during ordinary office hours or during such other hours as the Assistant Returning Officer fixes.
(4) An application that relates to:
(a) a Senate election; or
(b) a Senate election and a House of Representatives election to be held on the same day;
cannot be made earlier than the second day after the day on which nominations for the Senate election are declared under subsection 176(1).
(5) An application that relates to a House of Representatives election that is not to be held on the same day as a Senate election cannot be made earlier than the day after the day on which nominations for the election are declared under subsection 176(2).
(6) An elector may not make an application after the close of the poll in the State or Territory in which the elector is making the application.

200E Pre-poll voting

(1) The officer to whom an application for a pre-poll vote is made (in this section called the issuing officer) shall issue to the elector:
(a) a pre-poll vote certificate; and
(b) one ballot-paper for a Senate election or one ballot-paper for a House of Representatives election, or both, as the case requires.
(2) Before issuing the ballot-paper, the officer shall initial the top of the front of the paper.
(3) The elector shall sign the pre-poll vote certificate in the presence of the issuing officer.
(4) The issuing officer shall then sign the pre-poll vote certificate as witness, adding the date.
(5) The elector shall then, in the presence of the issuing officer but so that the officer cannot see the vote, mark his or her vote on the ballot-paper, fold the ballot-paper and return it to the issuing officer.
(6) The issuing officer shall immediately place the ballot-paper in the envelope bearing the pre-poll vote certificate, fasten the envelope and, until the envelope is dealt with under section 228, keep the envelope in a ballot-box.
(7) If the elector satisfies the officer that the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, do any of the following acts:
(a) fill in the pre-poll vote certificate with the required particulars;
(b) read the certificate to the voter;
(c) complete the certificate;
(d) mark the elector's vote on the ballot-paper;
(e) fold the ballot-paper and return it to the officer.
(8) Directions under subsection (7) may be given by reference to a how-to-vote card.
(9) An elector to whom a pre-poll vote certificate and ballot-paper have been issued is not entitled:
(a) to vote at a polling booth; or
(b) to remove the certificate or ballot-paper from the office of the officer who issued it.

200F Form of pre-poll vote certificate

A pre-poll vote certificate shall:
(a) be in the approved form;
(b) carry a distinguishing number that is the same as the number allocated to the record of the application for the certificate; and
(c) be printed on an envelope addressed to the DRO for the Division for which the elector declares that he or she is enrolled.

200G Record of issue of pre-poll voting papers

(1) Where the DRO for a Division issues a pre-poll vote certificate and ballot-paper to a person enrolled for the Division, the DRO shall make a record of the date of issue of the certificate and ballot-paper and the name of the person and shall allocate a number to the record.
(2) Where:
(a) any other DRO;
(b) a pre-poll voting officer; or
(c) an Assistant Returning Officer at a place outside Australia;
issues a pre-poll vote certificate and ballot-paper, he or she shall:
(d) make a record of the date of issue of the certificate and ballot-paper, the name of the person to whom the certificate and ballot-paper were issued and the name of the Division for which the person is enrolled and shall allocate a number to the record; and
(e) deal with the record of the issue of the certificate and ballot-paper in accordance with section 228.
(3) Records made by a DRO under subsection (1) and records forwarded to the DRO under section 228 shall be open to public inspection at the office of the DRO during ordinary office hours from and including the third day after polling day until the election can no longer be questioned.

200J Opening of pre-poll voting envelope

(1) A person other than:
(a) the DRO for the Division in respect of which a pre-poll vote ballot-paper has been issued; or
(b) an officer acting at the direction of the DRO;
shall not open an envelope containing a ballot-paper given to an officer under subsection 200E(5) or (7).
Penalty: $500.
(2) Strict liability applies to an offence against subsection (1).
Note: For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

200K Obligations of persons present when pre-poll vote cast

A person who is present when an elector signs a pre-poll vote certificate or marks a ballot-paper in the presence of an officer:
(a) shall obey all directions of the officer; and
(b) except at the request of the elector:
(i) shall not make any communication to the elector in relation to the elector's vote;
(ii) shall not assist the elector or in any way interfere with the elector in relation to the elector's vote; and
(iii) shall not do anything that would enable the person to find out how the elector marked the ballot-paper.
Penalty: $1 000.

201 Correction of formal errors

If an officer who receives a pre-poll vote certificate under subsection 200E(5) is satisfied that the certificate contains a formal error, the officer may amend the certificate to correct the error.

202 Mistakes

(1) A pre-poll vote shall not be rejected because only the surname of a candidate has been written on the ballot-paper if no other candidate has the same surname.
(2) A pre-poll vote shall not be rejected because of a mistake in spelling if the elector's intention is clear.

222 Where electors may vote

(1) On polling day an elector is entitled to vote at any polling place for the Division for which he or she is enrolled or to vote as an absent voter, on making a declaration in an approved form, at any other polling place within the State or Territory for which he or she is enrolled at which a polling booth is open.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a hospital is a polling place, an elector is not entitled to vote at that polling place otherwise than under section 224 unless an appropriate person on the staff of the hospital has agreed to permit electors generally to vote at that polling place or unless the elector:
(a) is attending the hospital as a patient or as a genuine visitor of a patient; or
(b) performs functions or duties in the hospital.
(3) A declaration made by an absent voter under subsection (1) shall be printed on, or securely attached to, an envelope addressed to the Divisional Returning Officer for the Division for which the elector declares that he or she is enrolled.
(4) Nothing in this section shall authorize any elector to vote more than once at any election.

229 Questions to be put to voter

(1) The presiding officer shall put the following questions to each person attending before the presiding officer and claiming to vote in an election or elections:
(a) What is your full name?
(b) Where do you live?
(c) Have you voted before in this election? or Have you voted before in these elections? (as the case requires).
(2) In addition to the questions put under subsection (1), the presiding officer shall ask each person claiming to vote as an absent voter in an election to identify the Division for which the person is enrolled.
(4) If the answers to the questions specified in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) that are given by a person claiming to vote are not sufficient to distinguish that person from another person on the certified list of voters, the presiding officer may, for the purpose of distinguishing the 2 persons, ask the person claiming to vote another question or other questions relating to matters shown on the certified list of voters in relation to those persons.
(5) Subject to section 235, if a person claiming to vote to whom questions are put under this section:
(a) refuses to answer fully any question so put; or
(c) answers a question specified in paragraph (1)(c) in the affirmative;
the person's claim to vote shall be rejected.

235 Provisional votes

(1) This section applies to a person claiming to vote if:
(a) the person's name cannot be found on the certified list of voters for the Division for which the person claims to vote;
(b) the person's name is on the certified list of voters for the Division but his or her address does not appear on the list; or
(d) a mark on the certified list of voters used at the polling place indicates that the person has already voted at that polling place.
(2) A person to whom this section applies may cast a provisional vote if the person signs a declaration in the approved form on an envelope addressed to the DRO for the Division for which the voter is, or claims to be, enrolled.
(3) The person shall sign the declaration in the presence of a polling official.
(4) The polling official shall then sign the declaration as witness, adding the date.
(5) Before issuing a ballot-paper to the person, a polling official shall give the person a statement in writing in the approved form explaining the effect of this section and indicating the steps that will be taken if the person casts a provisional vote.
(6) A person who casts a provisional vote shall fold the ballot-paper and hand it to the polling official who issued it.
(7) The polling official shall, in the presence of the voter, without unfolding the ballot-paper, place it in the envelope bearing the voter's declaration, fasten the envelope and place the envelope in the ballot-box.
(8) The Assistant Returning Officer who opens the ballot-box shall deal with the envelope according to section 228.

266 Preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes

(1) At any time on or after the last Monday before the close of the poll for a Division, the DRO shall conduct such preliminary scrutinies as he or she considers necessary until:
(a) all written applications for postal votes have been produced;
(b) all envelopes received by the DRO before the end of 13 days after the close of the poll and purporting to contain postal ballot-papers have been dealt with under this section; and
(c) all other envelopes received by officers prior to the close of the poll and purporting to contain ballot-papers bearing declaration votes have been dealt with under this section.
(2) The DRO shall give notice of the commencement of a preliminary scrutiny as follows:
(a) a notice specifying the date, time and place of commencement shall be displayed in a prominent place in the DRO's office;
(b) the notice shall be displayed not later than 4 p.m. on the day before the day of commencement.
(3) A preliminary scrutiny for a Division shall be conducted according to the rules set out in Schedule 3.
(4) The DRO may, from time to time, adjourn a preliminary scrutiny to a specified date, time and place.
(5) For the purposes of this Part, anything done under this section in relation to an election shall be taken to be part of the scrutiny in relation to the election.

Schedule 2 – Grounds of application for postal or pre-poll vote

Sections 183 and 200A

1. Throughout the hours of polling on polling day, the elector will be absent from the State or Territory for which the elector is enrolled.
2. The elector will not, at any time during the hours of polling on polling day, be within 8 kilometres by the nearest practicable route of any polling booth in the State or Territory for which the elector is enrolled.
3. Throughout the hours of polling on polling day, the elector will be travelling under conditions that will prevent the elector attending a polling booth in the State or Territory for which the elector is enrolled.
4. The elector will be unable to attend a polling booth on polling day because of:
(a) serious illness;
(b) infirmity; or
(c) approaching childbirth.
(In the case of an elector who will be a patient at a hospital on polling day, this paragraph applies regardless of the operation of sections 224 and 225.)
5. On polling day, the elector will be unable to attend a polling booth because the elector will be at a place (other than a hospital) caring for a person who is seriously ill or infirm or who is expected shortly to give birth.
6. Throughout the hours of polling on polling day, the elector will be a patient at a hospital (other than a special hospital) and unable to vote at the hospital.
7. Throughout the hours of polling on polling day, the elector will be a patient at a special hospital but will be unable to have his or her vote taken under section 225.
8. Because of the elector's religious beliefs or membership of a religious order, the elector:
(a) is precluded from attending a polling booth; or
(b) for the greater part of the hours of polling on polling day, is precluded from attending a polling booth.
9. On polling day, the elector will be serving a sentence of imprisonment or otherwise under detention.
10. The elector's address has been excluded from the Roll under section 104.
11. Throughout the hours of polling on polling day, the elector will be engaged in his or her employment or occupation and:
(a) if the elector is an employee, the elector is not entitled to leave of absence under section 345; and
(b) in any other case, the absence of the elector for the purpose of attending at a polling booth to vote would be likely to cause loss to the person in his or her occupation.

Schedule 3 – Rules for the conduct of a preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes

Subsection 266(3)

1. The DRO shall produce unopened all envelopes containing declaration votes of the kind to which the preliminary scrutiny relates received by the DRO:
(a) in the case of the first preliminary scrutiny – before the commencement of that scrutiny; and
(b) in the case of a subsequent preliminary scrutiny – after the commencement of the last preceding preliminary scrutiny and before the commencement of the subsequent preliminary scrutiny.
2. All written applications for postal votes not already dealt with at a preliminary scrutiny shall be produced at each preliminary scrutiny of postal votes.
3. The DRO shall compare the signature of the elector on each postal vote application with the signature on the relevant postal vote certificate and allow the scrutineers to inspect both signatures.
3A. For each postal vote certificate not dealt with under paragraph 3, the DRO must compare the signature of the elector on the postal vote certificate with the signature of the elector on:
(a) the elector's application for registration as a general postal voter; or
(b) the elector's application for enrolment or transfer of enrolment;
and allow the scrutineers to inspect both signatures.
4. The DRO shall divide the envelopes being dealt with into groups, as follows:
(a) in one group, the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6;
(b) in another group, the envelopes that do not meet those requirements.
5. The DRO shall, without opening the envelopes, subject to the operation of paragraphs 23 and 24, exclude from further scrutiny the ballot-papers contained in envelopes that do not meet the requirements of paragraph 6.
6. An envelope meets the requirements of this paragraph if the DRO is satisfied:
(a) in the case of an envelope purporting to contain a postal ballot-paper, other than an envelope sent under section 186 to a registered general postal voter who was registered on the ground specified in paragraph 184A(2)(e) or (f), that the signature on the certificate is that of the elector and that:
(i) the signature purports to be witnessed by an authorised witness; or
(ii) the signature is taken to be witnessed by an authorised witness because of subsection 194(1A);
(b) in the case of an envelope purporting to contain a pre-poll vote ballot-paper, that the certificate has been signed in accordance with section 200E and that the signature purports to be witnessed by the officer who issued the certificate;
(c) in the case of an envelope purporting to contain an absent vote ballot-paper or a provisional vote ballot-paper, that the certificate has been signed in accordance with section 222 or 235 or subsection 234(4), as the case requires, and that the signature purports to be witnessed in accordance with that section or subsection, as the case may be;
(d) in the case of an envelope purporting to contain a ballot-paper recording a vote cast at a station in Antarctica, the envelope is signed in accordance with subsection 260(1); and
(e) in the case of an envelope purporting to contain a postal ballot-paper, that the vote marked on the ballot-paper was recorded prior to the close of the poll.
6A. If the DRO is satisfied that more than one envelope that meets the requirements of paragraph 6 purports to contain a declaration vote by the same elector, the DRO must:
(a) treat only one of the envelopes, as selected by the DRO, as meeting the requirements of paragraph 6; and
(b) exclude from further scrutiny the ballot-papers contained in the other envelope or envelopes, without opening the envelope or envelopes; and
(c) seal up in a parcel the envelope or envelopes excluded from further scrutiny by subparagraph (b); and
(d) write on the parcel a description of its contents, the name of the Division and the date of the commencement of the preliminary scrutiny.
In applying subparagraph (a), the DRO should, to the extent that it is possible, select the envelope that was received first.
6B. Paragraphs 23 and 24 do not apply to envelopes excluded from further scrutiny because of subparagraph 6A(b).
7. Where the envelope purporting to contain a postal ballot-paper bears a postmark that includes a date after polling day, the vote marked on the ballot-paper shall be taken not to have been recorded prior to the close of the poll.
7A. A vote marked on a postal ballot-paper must be taken not to have been recorded prior to the close of the poll if:
(a) in the case of a ballot-paper taken to be witnessed because of subsection 194(1A) – the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark; or
(b) in any other case – the envelope purporting to contain the ballot-paper does not bear a legible postmark and the signature of the witness bears a date after polling day.
8. An envelope purporting to contain an absent vote ballot-paper or a provisional vote ballot-paper or a pre-poll vote ballot-paper shall not be regarded as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph 6 only because the declaration or certificate, as the case requires, is not witnessed if the voter's name appears on a record made under subsection 232(2) or section 200G, as the case requires, or, if neither of those requirements is met, if the DRO is satisfied that the ballot-paper was properly issued.
9. The DRO shall seal up in a parcel the envelopes that do not meet the requirements of paragraph 6 and shall write on the parcel a description of its contents, the name of the Division and the date of commencement of the preliminary scrutiny.
10. If the preliminary scrutiny relates to a Senate election held concurrently with a House of Representatives election or a Senate election held alone, the DRO shall divide the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6 into groups as follows:
(a) in one group, the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are enrolled for the Division or whose claims for enrolment are claims to which subsection 102(4A) of the Act applies;
(b) in another group the envelopes to which paragraph 11A or 12 applies;
(c) in another group, the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are not enrolled for the Division but are enrolled for the State or Territory in which the Division is situated;
(d) in another group, the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are not enrolled for the Division or for the State or Territory in which the Division is situated.
11. If the preliminary scrutiny relates to a House of Representatives election not held concurrently with a Senate election, the DRO shall divide the envelopes that meet the requirements of paragraph 6 into groups as follows:
(a) in one group, the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are enrolled for the Division or whose claims for enrolment are claims to which subsection 102(4A) of the Act applies;
(b) in another group, the envelopes to which paragraph 11A or 12 applies;
(c) in another group, the envelopes bearing certificates or declarations by persons who are not enrolled for the Division.
11A. This paragraph applies to an envelope if the DRO is satisfied:
(a) that the elector who signed the certificate or declaration on the envelope is not enrolled for the Division; and
(b) after making enquiry:
(i) that the elector was, at the time of voting, entitled to be enrolled for a Subdivision of the Division; and
(ii) that, if the Division had not been divided into Subdivisions, the omission of the elector's name from the Roll for the Division would have been due to an error made by an officer, or to a mistake of fact.
11B. Subparagraph 11A(b) does not apply if:
(a) more than one election (excluding the election to which the scrutiny relates) has been held since the omission from the Roll; or
(b) where there has been a redistribution of the State or Territory that includes the Division since the last election but one before the election to which the scrutiny relates, the omission from the Roll was made before the last such redistribution.
12. This paragraph applies to an envelope if the DRO is satisfied:
(a) that the elector who signed a certificate or declaration on the envelope is not enrolled for the Division; and
(b) after making enquiry:
(i) that the elector was, at the time of voting, entitled to be enrolled for the Division; and
(ii) that the omission of the elector's name from the Roll for the Division was due to an error made by an officer or to a mistake of fact.
13. Subparagraph 12(b) does not apply if:
(a) more than one election (excluding the election to which the scrutiny relates) has been held since the error or mistake was made; or
(b) where there has been a redistribution of the State or Territory that includes the Division since the last election but one before the election to which the scrutiny relates, the error or mistake was made before the last such redistribution.
14. In paragraphs 11B and 13, election means:
(a) a general election for the House of Representatives;
(b) a Senate election not held concurrently with a general election for the House of Representatives; or
(c) a referendum not held concurrently with a general election.
15. The DRO shall, without opening the envelopes, subject to the operation of paragraphs 23 and 25, exclude from further scrutiny the ballot-papers contained in envelopes referred to in subparagraphs 10(d) and 11(c).
16. The DRO shall seal up in a parcel the envelopes referred to in subparagraphs 10(d) and 11(c) and shall write on the parcel a description of the contents, the name of the Division and the date.
17. The DRO shall, after the close of the poll for the Division, without unfolding or inspecting them or allowing any other person to do so, withdraw the ballot-papers from the envelopes referred to in paragraph 10 or 11 that still remain in the preliminary scrutiny.
18. Ballot-papers withdrawn from envelopes referred to in subparagraph 10(a) or (b) or 11(a) or (b) shall be placed in a ballot-box by themselves for further scrutiny.
19. A ballot-paper for a Senate election withdrawn from an envelope referred to in subparagraph 10(c) shall be placed in the ballot-box referred to in paragraph 18 for further scrutiny. A ballot-paper for a House of Representatives election withdrawn from such an envelope shall be excluded from further scrutiny.
20. The DRO shall seal up in a parcel ballot-papers excluded under paragraph 19 and shall write on the parcel a description of its contents, the name of the Division and the date.
21. Where a ballot-paper has been finally excluded from further scrutiny, other than because of subparagraph 6A(b), the DRO shall send to the voter a written statement of the reason for the rejection.
22. For the purposes of paragraph 17, an envelope that contains a ballot-paper for a referendum shall be dealt with as if it did not contain that ballot-paper.
23. In the course of a preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes, the DRO, as soon as practicable after the ballot-papers that are required, under that scrutiny, to be placed in a ballot-box under paragraph 18 or 19 are so placed, but not before the close of the poll for the Division, must:
(a) open the parcel of envelopes that contains the ballot-papers that are, under paragraph 5 and subject to the operation of this paragraph and paragraph 24, excluded from scrutiny, and deal further with those declaration votes in accordance with paragraph 24; and
(b) open the parcel of envelopes that contains the ballot-papers that are, under paragraph 15 and subject to the operation of this paragraph and paragraph 25, excluded from scrutiny, and deal further with those declaration votes in accordance with paragraph 25.
24. For the purpose of dealing further with declaration votes referred to in subparagraph 23(a), paragraphs 3 to 22, inclusive, reapply in relation to those votes as if:
(a) the words "subject to the operation of paragraphs 23 and 24," were omitted from paragraph 5; and
(b) the words "subject to the operation of paragraphs 23 and 25," were omitted from paragraph 15.
25. For the purpose of dealing further with declaration votes referred to in subparagraph 23 (b), paragraphs 10 to 22, inclusive, reapply in relation to those votes as if the words "subject to the operation of paragraphs 23 and 25," were omitted from paragraph 15.

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