2023 Referendum

Scrutineers are an extremely important part of ensuring the transparency of referendum processes.

Scrutineers must be validly appointed using the scrutineer appointment form. For a referendum, scrutineers can be appointed by:

  • registered officers of a registered political party
  • the Governor-General
  • the Governor of a State
  • the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
  • the Administrator of the Northern Territory (or persons authorised by those people)

Scrutineers are allowed to observe polling activities at AEC voting venues as well as counting processes undertaken at voting venues on referendum night and at counting centres in the days after polling day. Scrutineers can challenge decisions made on the formality of ballot papers, the counting of ballot papers and inspect ballot security arrangements such as the sealing and unsealing of ballot boxes.

As a scrutineer, you need a clear understanding of your role, including what you can and cannot do under the law.


The political party registration process includes an advertising period for objection, validation of members as well as other required aspects of administration. On average, this process takes twelve weeks.

Updated: 17 April 2023