Savings provisions in Australian electoral law : their forms, functions and historical development

Miragliotta, Narelle and Nwokora, Zim 2016, Savings provisions in Australian electoral law : their forms, functions and historical development, UNSW law journal, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 341-367.

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Title Savings provisions in Australian electoral law : their forms, functions and historical development
Author(s) Miragliotta, Narelle
Nwokora, ZimORCID iD for Nwokora, Zim orcid.org/0000-0002-2171-9319
Journal name UNSW law journal
Volume number 39
Issue number 1
Start page 341
End page 367
Total pages 27
Publisher University of New South Wales Law Journal, Faculty of Law
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0313-0096
Summary The introduction of universal suffrage in 1902 established voting as a right for adult Australians who were British subjects and over 21 years of age. However, parties, parliaments, and electoral authorities have not been content with merely ensuring that citizens are entitled to vote. They have also enacted measures that aim to maximise citizen participation in elections. Turnout was made compulsory in 1925, which largely solved the ‘problem’ of voluntary abstention from the ballot box. A second concern has been disenfranchisement caused by incorrectly completed ballot papers. This situation arises when a voter submits a ballot that fails to comply with the legal requirements for a formal vote. Since the introduction of compulsory voting, debates about how to improve electoral turnout have largely concentrated on how to reduce rates of informality.The ‘problem’ of informality has long occupied the attention of electoral authorities and policy makers. This is due, in part, to the fact that rates of informality in Australia have been consistently high relative to other mature democracies. Moreover, the prevailing view in much of the Australian literature is that most informal voting is the result of mistakes and therefore ‘accidental’ or ‘unintentional’. Estimates of unintentional informal voting at national elections vary, but usually fall within the range of 80 to 85 per cent of informal votes cast. Even by the more conservative estimates of the Australian Electoral Commission (‘AEC’) the average rate of unintentional voting in the four national elections conducted in the period between 2001 and 2010 was 60.45 per cent.
Language eng
Field of Research 160603 Comparative Government and Politics
1801 Law
Socio Economic Objective 940202 Electoral Systems
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, University of New South Wales Law Journal, Faculty of Law
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083236

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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