Electoral integrity: 2019 federal election

Updated: 12 April 2019

A federal election is a national event with many active participants – the AEC, other government agencies, media and digital platforms, political entities, candidates and voters – who all have a role in safeguarding electoral integrity.

The AEC is focused on planning and delivering an election where Australians can safely enrol, stand as candidates, vote, and that their votes are counted accurately and securely.

While the AEC’s election planning has always involved a comprehensive approach to anticipating and managing integrity concerns, the 2019 federal election will be delivered in an increasingly complex environment with a greater need for a coordinated approach.

How are we working to address electoral integrity?

Threats to our democracy through malicious cyber activity, physical means, electoral fraud, foreign interference or disinformation are a matter of concern for every Australian.

The Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce (Taskforce), made up of representatives from a range Commonwealth government agencies is working together to protect our electoral integrity.

Electoral communication

A federal election is a contest of ideas and electoral laws do not regulate the truth of electoral communication, the channels used for the distribution of electoral communication or the amount of electoral advertising undertaken.

It is important that voters stop and check the source of what they see, hear or read.

Electoral laws do require electoral communication to be authorised. The key objective of the authorisation requirements is to promote free and informed voting at elections by allowing voters to know who is communicating electoral matter.

Foreign influence

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme strengthens the integrity of our democracy and elections by providing transparency to the public about the nature, level and extent of foreign influence on Australia's government and political process.

A person is required to register under the scheme where all of the following circumstances apply:

  • they are undertaking a registrable activity (lobbying, communications activity or disbursement activity), and
  • the activity is undertaken on behalf of a foreign principal, and
  • the purpose of the activity is for political or governmental influence, and
  • no exemptions apply.

In addition, if a person is communicating information or material to the public or a group with a view to influencing their views – for example in relation to an election – and does this on behalf of a foreign principal, then their communication must include a disclosure about the identity of the foreign principal.

During the federal election period, activities must be registered within seven days. Registrations can be viewed on the Public Register (transparency.ag.gov.au).

Security of elections

The AEC works closely with Australian security and law enforcement agencies to protect the security of all operational aspects of the electoral process, including the physical security of voters and increasingly – like overseas electoral bodies – cyber security.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), through the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), is supporting proactive measures to improve and maintain the cyber security of electoral systems.

Any cyber security threats should be reported to the ACSC on:

The National Security website is the Australian Government's portal on national security issues.

National Security Hotline:

  • 1800 123 400
  •  or if it is an emergency call 000 (triple zero).
Back to top