The nomination process for people wishing to stand as candidates in elections and by-elections has been updated to include an option to provide information on their eligibility to be elected to Parliament, the Australian Electoral Commission announced today.
A qualification checklist has been included in the candidate nomination form, and will be in place for the upcoming by-elections in Longman (Qld), Mayo (SA), Braddon (Tas), Fremantle (WA) and Perth (WA).
The qualification checklist will be included in the nomination form for candidates as a result of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Eligibility) Regulations 2018 that commenced on 30 May 2018.
The Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, said the qualification checklist would enable nominating candidates, if they choose, to demonstrate their eligibility to be elected to Parliament under Section 44 of the Constitution.
“As part of the nomination process, candidates now have the option to complete a qualification checklist outlining their Australian citizenship and their family history.
“If a candidate chooses to complete the checklist, and provides consent, it will be published on the AEC website. A candidate can complete the checklist and request that it not be published,” Mr Rogers said.
“Candidates’ qualification checklists will be published on the AEC website following the declaration of nominations for an election or by-election, unless the candidate has indicated that they do not wish the checklist to be published.
“The AEC will publish information on whether we have received the checklist, whether consent was given to publish the checklist, and whether any additional documentation was submitted to support the candidate’s eligibility under Section 44 of the Constitution,” Mr Rogers said.
Additional documentation can be provided by a candidate to the AEC with the qualification checklist. All additional documentation will be published on the AEC website, irrespective of whether the candidate has agreed to publish their checklist. Before lodging it with the AEC, candidates can delete any information from additional documentation that they do not want published on the AEC website, and should be careful to consider the personal information of others that may be included in their additional documentation.
The AEC administers the federal elections according to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act). The Electoral Act does not provide the AEC with the authority to conduct eligibility checks on potential candidates.
It should be noted that the AEC has no authority to determine the eligibility of any candidate wishing to stand in the election on the basis of the information provided in the qualification checklist or any additional documentation provided by candidates.
The AEC’s role is to receive and publish the information required for public inspection.