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Postal Voting

Australian Election Company is skilled and experienced at conducting Ballots or Elections using Postal Voting. Australian Election Company takes special steps to protect the integrity and sanctity of Postal Voting.

Postal Voting is used where governance requirements mandate its use. Similarly, in Australian Public Elections, Postal voting is typically applied as a supplementary voting medium for electors. In some Australian Local Government (Council) Elections, Postal Voting is used as the sole medium for voting.

Postal Voting also traditionally has been used as the voting medium for Elections for Registered Organisations (Unions and Employer Groups) for many Clubs, Societies and Corporations.

Although the trend is quickly turning toward Electronic means of voting by Internet or by Telephone, Postal Voting also has been widely used in the conduct of Collective Agreement Ballots.

In the context of Collective Agreement Ballots, Postal Voting is eminently suitable where there are only a relatively small number of eligible employees involved in the Employee Ballot and where the eligible employees are geographically dispersed or attendance at a central polling booth is impracticable.

Postal Voting can be a relatively inexpensive approach; it is more applicable for Organisations having, say, fewer than 1,500 Employees or Members. It should be taken into consideration, however, that a Postal Ballot really requires a minimum 10-14 days Ballot period where no ballot period is stipulated in any relevant governance requirements.

For reasons of integrity, unless governance requirements mandate otherwise, Australian Election Company uses only Declaration Postal Voting – a double envelope system of Postal Voting. Special procedures are applied to ensure that the secrecy of each Ballot is guaranteed, despite the requirement for a voter to sign their name on a detachable slip on the Declaration Envelope.

Australian Election Company, again for reasons of Election/Ballot integrity, also prefers to despatch Ballot material to the current home addresses or postal addresses of an eligible Employee or eligible Member rather than workplace addresses. Similarly, as a further integrity measure, and unless it is mandated otherwise, Australian Election Company uses envelope materials that are not readily identifiable as ballot /voting material. Formal processes are also applied in any cases where voters seek to obtain replacement ballot materials. At Australian Election Company, integrity and accuracy counts.

How does (Declaration) Postal Voting work?∧ Back to the top

Upon receipt of the Eligible Voter Database, Australian Election Company will assemble ballot material for each postal voter, and at the appropriate time, the ballot material will be mailed to (preferably) the voter’s home address. (Home addresses are recommended for Ballot integrity purposes and the addresses used will be based upon information provided through current Client records). Where significant volumes of ballot materials must be prepared, inserted and lodged with Australia Post, Australian Election Company works in conjunction with Australia’s premier Mailing House, Salmat. Australian Election Company also deploys representatives to conduct quality assurance testing of the Mailing House services.

Each eligible postal voter will receive an envelope containing: the Ballot Paper, a Declaration Envelope and a “Reply Paid” Envelope and in some cases, an Information/Instruction sheet. The ballot material will be posted in accordance with the approved timeline.

As an added security measure, all Postal Ballot materials will be posted/lodged by the Australian Election Company Returning Officer or her/his staff, or under the supervision of Australian Election Company staff.

Australian Election Company virtually exclusively uses Declaration Postal Voting (unless governance requirements mandate otherwise) in all Postal-based Collective Agreement Ballots. It is noteworthy, that this process requires Postal Voters to sign their name in the space provided on the Declaration Envelope or their vote will not be counted.

Postal Ballot material returned to the Australian Election Company Returning Officer is reconciled and dealt with under Australia Post Locked Bag arrangements. Ballot collections from the Post Office will only be made by the Returning Officer or her/his authorised delegate(s).

The Ballot material collected is retained under security. How and when returned Postal Voting materials are dealt with will depend upon the relevant governance requirements, together with other pertaining circumstances. Where there are no legal or operational impediments to doing so, at pre-determined intervals, the returned Ballot material will be accessed by the Returning Officer and/or her/his Staff to facilitate the post reconciliation, the opening and removal of the “outer” Reply Paid Envelopes and the checking of voter signatures on Declaration Envelopes. Subsequently voter’s names will then be “marked back” to the Eligible Employee Database (Voters Roll). However, those DECLARATIONS NOT SIGNED will be “rejected at preliminary scrutiny” – they will be set aside and NOT be counted. At Australian Election Company, depending upon volumes and operational considerations, we are able to conduct the “mark-back” manually or by using bar-wand scanning technology.

Voter Secrecy is Guaranteed∧ Back to the top

Declaration Postal Voters need not have any concerns about the secrecy of their vote, notwithstanding that their name and signature will appear on the Declaration Envelope. The slips showing name and signature details are detached and then immediately separately parcelled, prior to the opening of Declaration Envelopes and the removal of ballot papers for unfolding and counting. Care is taken to ensure that all slips are parcelled, counted, reconciled, and the parcels labelled.

This process is conducted as part of the formal Count (scrutiny). Any formally appointed Scrutineers (where governance requirements incorporate relevant scrutineering provisions), or in the case of Collective Agreement Ballots, any authorized Client representatives or Authorized Observers, are permitted to be present during this part of the Count, or in fact at any stage from lodgment of the Postal Voting materials to conclusion of the Count.

Australian Election Company tabulates the Ballot/Election Results and provides comprehensive reporting to the Client. The actual count of Ballot Papers will be conducted by Australian Election Company personnel, under formal “scrutiny” conditions i.e. under conditions similar to those of the counts of ballots in parliamentary or Industrial (Union) Elections.

Australian Election Company has the capacity to conduct Postal Voting Counts manually, by data keying of the ballot papers, or by efficient, accurate electronic scanning of the ballot papers.