Scrutineers perform an extremely important role in ensuring that Australia's proud democratic tradition of transparent electioral events is maintained. Transparency and integrity in the conduct of electioral events have, after all, been the hallmarks of Australia's federal electoral system.
As a scrutineer, you need a clear understanding of your role, including what you can and cannot do under the law. Please ensure that you have viewed the video linked above and read the handbook linked below well in advance of attending a polling place or counting centre, as it contains important information about the processes you will be scrutinising.
Becoming a scrutineer
For a referendum, scrutineers can be appointed by the Governor-General, the Governor of a state, the Chief Minister for the Australian Capital Territory, the Administrator of the Northern Territory, or the registered officer or deputy registered officer of a registered political party.
All scrutineers must sign the form linked below, which includes details about who has appointed the scrutineer and a list of undertakings that scrutineers must agree to. These undertakings are vital for ensuring that the proceedings you will observe are not disrupted and that official information is safeguarded.
Note: Failure to follow these undertakings may result in a scrutineer being removed from a polling place or counting centre. Serious cases involving the misuse of official information may result in prosecution.
The AEC will be providing a broad range of in-person polling services for the referendum. We encourage scrutineers to check in regularly to keep up to date as polling service arrangements are confirmed:
- Polling place locations
- Pre-poll voting centre locations and hours
- Mobile polling locations and hours
- Remote mobile polling locations and hours
- Overseas voting locations
- Some communities where the AEC is offering remote voter services have entry protocols in place. These protocols vary between locations and may require a formal entry permit application to be submitted. Prior to attending a community, scrutineers should investigate if there is an entry protocol in place and what is needed prior to attendance.
- COVID safety measures may be in place for some locations where we are conducting mobile polling. Prisons also have entry protocols that need to be complied with, please contact the relevant prison or state department of corrections for further information.
More details about scrutiny arrangements will be published in coming weeks.
For specific enquiries relating to scrutineering, you can contact the following:
- Phone number – (02) 6271 4572
- Operating hours – 8:00am to 8:00pm local time