About Elections ACT
The ACT Electoral Commission, known as Elections ACT, is an independent statutory authority responsible for conducting elections and referendums for the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly.
The ACT Electoral Commission’s main roles are as follows:
- The conduct of elections and referendums for the ACT Legislative Assembly
- The determination of electoral boundaries for the ACT
- The provision of electoral advice and services to a wide range of clients.
What was the challenge?
In 2008 most states and territories were using a PDA based voting system which allowed for search and mark off of a voter’s name from an electronic certified list. This process was found to be inefficient and cumbersome.
After legislation was passed to move the voting method to optional preferential voting, an update to the voting system was needed. The change was needed to address previous issues affecting the integrity and efficiency of voting and the election process as a whole.
The challenge was to produce a system that answered the following requirements:
- An electronic roll mark off system for the search and mark off of elector’s names from the certified list.
- Automated reconciliation of ballot papers (and barcodes).
- The installation of the applications and data on to each individual tablet/notebook unit.
- Wireless network transmission of each mark-off transaction for ‘close to real time’ replication in each unit across all polling places.
- Wireless network transmission of final polling place results between a polling place’s Central Unit to the Elections HQ database (central database).
- Creation of the Elections HQ database.
- An ability to conduct all other necessary Officer In Charge (OIC) functions associated with an OIC return.
- Ability to uninstall roll mark off software post-election and return hardware with the same configuration as they arrived.
- Continue to perform all the local functions e.g. roll look-up and mark off if the network drops off or fails.
- Resume synchronisation and network reliant functions when the network connectivity is restored.
- Ballot paper reconciliation and discrepancy display.
- Ability to enter multiple flags against an elector record indicating multiple declaration votes issued.
A simple and reliable solution
F1 Solutions developed and implemented a highly successful Electronic Legislative Assembly Polling Place System (eLAPPS) for Elections ACT, who used and continue to use the solution to manage polling places in a variety of ways. This solution was used to run the 2012 ACT Elections, and functionally facilitated electorate, candidate, polling place, management, reporting, electronic mark-off, notifications and ballot paper counting and result capabilities.
A user-friendly intuitive way for operators to locate the voter, give appropriate instructions, issue the correct ballot paper and mark them off as having voted.
A scalable system that can cope with an increase in size (number of polling sites) and/or volume (number of voters).
A robust solution that can withstand hardware and/or software failure. The voter facing unit should continue to operate even if any of the links in the system fail.
A fast system that shortens the voter processing time – during the first 4 hours of polling day, it is expected that the majority of people would vote.
An accurate system.
The benefits for Elections ACT
The implementation of an automated election management during the ACT Elections saw a decrease in processing times by 20-30 seconds which reduced long queues in polling precincts. Significantly, it increased operational efficiency by up to 20% together with an increase in polling staff productivity by 40%. Reconciliation processing was down by 25%. Most importantly multiple voting was decreased by 100%.
eLAPPS has brought the digital revolution to polling sites. Everyone is a winner! Shorter queues by electronic voter look-up mean the voters are happier. High productivity and job satisfaction are achieved by the polling site staff, OICs and personnel who manages elections due to efficient workflow. The results are transparent and accessible, providing the media ease in information dissemination. Meanwhile, the quick outcome results will give voters peace of mind. F1 Solutions is committed to providing convenient solutions to the business and compliance needs of all levels of government. Automating the elections in Northern Territory, in addition to the already established process in Australian Capital Territory, are just a few of the planned software projects we will release to improve the experience of the public in dealing with government. eLAPPS has brought the digital revolution to polling sites. Everyone is a winner! Shorter queues by electronic voter look-up mean the voters are happier. High productivity and job satisfaction are achieved by the polling site staff, OICs and personnel who manages elections due to efficient workflow. The results are transparent and accessible, providing the media ease in information dissemination. Meanwhile, the quick outcome results will give voters peace of mind.
F1 Solutions is committed to providing convenient solutions to the business and compliance needs of all levels of government. Automating the elections in the Australian Capital Territory, is just one example of how we assist with improving the experience of the public in dealing with government.
Automating end of day processing for Officers in Charge (OIC) at polling sites, replacing the need for phone calls from the Polling Place to the HQ and decreasing the potential for data entry errors to occur.
Streamlining the ballot-issuing and reconciliation processes resulting in reduced processing time.
Reducing the chance of multiple voting across different polling sites ensuring one vote per person.
An exceptional customer experience- This is what the project was ultimately all about, and feedback says it was a success.