This register lists prominent pieces of disinformation the AEC has discovered regarding the announced referendum on the Voice to Parliament. It also provides details of actions the AEC has taken in response.
The AEC is not responsible for fact-checking claims about the Yes or No case for a referendum, and we do not seek to censor debate in any way. However, when it comes to the referendum process we conduct, we’re the experts and we’re active in defending Australia’s democracy.
Correct information In 1973, the Government amended Queen Elizabeth II’s title in Australia to ‘Queen of Australia’. This change has led to a small number of incorrect claims about the validity of the Constitution, as well as any laws passed by the federal Parliament, since 1973.
Constitutional scholars and the High Court of Australia have all considered and rejected this claim. The Parliamentary Bill changing the Queen’s Australian title is not only constitutionally valid, it was signed by Queen Elizabeth II herself, during her 1973 visit to Australia.
There is only one way Australia’s Constitution can be changed: by the successful passage of a referendum.
AEC social media accounts have consistently countered versions of this claim.
Correct information The AEC received funding to promote Indigenous enrolment in the 2021 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. As announced at the time, this funding has been used to enable the delivery of targeted measures to promote Indigenous enrolment, such as advertising.
This funding was committed in recognition that the estimated enrolment rate at the time for Indigenous Australians, at 81.7% lags behind the overall enrolment rate of 97%.
This MYEFO measure was announced by the previous Government and was made well in advance of the announcement of a referendum on a Voice to Parliament. The two are entirely unrelated.
The AEC has had a focus on promoting Indigenous enrolment since at least 2010.
The AEC’s social media accounts responded to clarify that the focus of advertising is to promote Indigenous enrolment.
Correct information Ballot papers are tracked at all stages of transport, counting and storage. Ballot papers are counted by 100,000+ temporary staff, supervised by permanent AEC staff and observed by scrutineers (non-AEC staff) - ensuring transparency and accuracy.
AEC social media accounts replied to educate users about the security measures taken for ballot papers.
Correct information Referendums are run using the same infrastructure as federal elections. This involves 100,000+ temporary staff undertaking the count, under the supervision of AEC staff and independent scrutineers.
Correct information No, you do not need to enrol separately. Your current enrolment details on the AEC’s electoral roll are used for all federal elections, by-elections and referendums. If your enrolment details are correct, you do not need to do anything. If you need to update your enrolment go to https://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/.
AEC social media accounts confirmed that separate enrolment is not required for a referendum.
The AEC acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.