AEC says 43m ballot papers are being printed. It’s seriously time for online voting

AEC, online voting

The Australian Electral Commission have revealed we’re headed for the largest election in Australia’s history. While we can safely communicate, do our taxes, bank and plenty of other actions online, voting seems to be the last remaining frontier that hasn’t made it’s way online. While we’re happy to survey people online, when it comes to capturing the real vote, we seem incapable or unwilling to do it. 

In this election, Australia will print 43 Million ballot papers, seriously this is insane. The NSW ballot paper is more than a meter wide and they are providing magnifying glasses at the booths. It’s so clear that we need to drop the barriers, spend the money to create a secure online voting system and get it done. I’m sure if you took the cost of 43m ballot papers and 50,000 ballot boxes and paid developers, they’d have it done in no time.

This has to be the last election where we can’t vote online, and by the time the 2016 election rolls around, we have to at least have the option to vote online. Given the proliferation of Facebook in Australia, add 3 years to it, I predict that the convenience of voting from home would see a majority of Australians use that method to vote. Below are some progress fast facts about the federal election so far:

A record 14.7m electors enrolled, including 71,000 new enrolments and 118,000 updated enrolments in the final 24 hours before the close of rolls.

Elector enquiries
Over 185,000 enquiries have been addressed via telephone and over 20,000 have been addressed by email since the announcement of the election. Thousands more have been addressed via Twitter and Facebook.

Candidate nominations
A record 1,717 nominations were accepted and declared from independent candidates and many of the 54 political parties registered for this election, over double the number of parties who were registered to contest the 2010 federal election.

Group voting tickets
265 group voting tickets accepted and published.

Postal vote applications
Over 685,000 applications have been processed so far, almost half of which applied online.

House guide
The Official Guide to the Federal Election is now being delivered to 9.7m Australian households, with other formats available online.

Polling officials
Nearly 50,000 polling officials are confirmed, well on the way to a target of around 70,000.

Ballot papers and ballot boxes
Over 43m ballot papers are being printed, 50,000 ballot boxes produced and being distributed.

Pencils and string
Over 100,000 pencils are being used and approximately 140 kilometres of string is required to tie them to voting screens.

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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