The polls are open! Voting starts Tuesday 14th June for anyone eligible to vote before election day on July 2 – which is a fair portion of the electorate. Early voting was first allowed for the 1984 election. Since then, the number of people casting a ballot before polling day has been rising steadily and it’s expected to keep growing. Melbourne University’s Nick Reece says the trend will mean a change in how politicians campaign in the lead up to the election.
A team of Australian researchers believe the code used to count votes in the federal election should be made public, after they found problems in the code of the 2012 NSW local government elections. Dr Vanessa Teague is a member of this team, and says it would be good for democracy, and good for the Electoral Commissions, to make election-related source code public before an election.
The Greens have welcomed news that a bill for Senate voting reform will be introduced into parliament this week, calling on opposition leader Bill Shorten to back the changes that are supported by many within his own party. Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon says the Bill will end the era of back room party preference deals.