Monday, August 23, 2010

Federal Court of Australia Decides Voters Can Enrol Online

The Federal Court of Australia decided on 13 August 2010 that voters could register to vote via the Internet. The full text of the decision "Getup Ltd v Electoral Commissioner" (FCA 869, 17 August 2010) is available online. Also Damian Sturzaker, one of the solicitors for the case, has written a commentary: "An historic victory in the Federal Court", 15 August 2010.

It should be noted that this decision effects only the process of registering, not casting a vote. Most voters are still required to cast a paper ballot, although some voters, such as the blind and military personnel can vote electronically.
"21. The real point is the ease with which the signature tool allows careful manipulation of a signature. But again, accepting that to be so, one needs to pay proper attention to the fact that the Commissioner will accept a claim form in the form of a JPEG file and that such a file is easily manipulated or photoshopped. In order for this ability to vary a signature to provide a persuasive basis for rejecting the signature tool there would need to be some principled basis for distinguishing the alterable nature of a JPEG file (which the Commissioner will accept) from the alterable nature of the signature tool (which the Commissioner will not). I am unable, as presently advised, to discern such a difference.

22. Granted then that faxing and emailing a JPEG files satisfies, for the Commissioner ’s purposes, the requirements of s 10(1)(b) it must follow, and I find, that the signature tool and the ozenrol site likewise satisfy that provision.

23. It follows that ******’s claim form of 22 July 2010 was signed by her as required both by s 98(2)(b) and 102(1) of the Electoral Act. ..."

From: "Getup Ltd v Electoral Commissioner" (FCA 869, 17 August 2010)

No comments: