Australia

Population Statistics

22,751,014

Total Population

3,412,652

Population with a disability

according to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate

Election Dates

21
may

Australia House of Representatives 2022

2022

17 July 2008

Ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918, last amended 2005)

Updated: October 2020

Section 13, subsection (1) states:

The Governor-General may appoint a person to act as Chairperson:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Chairperson is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office; but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

 

Section 14, subsection (1) states:

The Governor-General may appoint a person to act as the non-judicial appointee:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the non-judicial appointee is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office; but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

 

Section 19, subsection (3) states:

Subject to subsection (4), the Deputy Electoral Commissioner shall act as the Electoral Commissioner:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Electoral Commissioner is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office.

 

Section 25, subsection (1) states:

The Governor-General may terminate the appointment of an electoral officer by reason of misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity.

 

Section 26, subsection (1) states:

The Governor-General may appoint a person to act as the Electoral Commissioner:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when:
    • (i) the Electoral Commissioner is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office; and
    • (ii) no person is acting as the Electoral Commissioner by virtue of holding the office of, or acting as, the Deputy Electoral Commissioner; but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

 

Section 27, subsection (1) states:

The Governor-General may appoint a person to act as the Deputy Electoral Commissioner:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Deputy Electoral Commissioner is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office; but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

 

Section 30, subsection (2) states:

The Commission may appoint a person to act as Australian Electoral Officer for the Australian Capital Territory during any period, or during all periods, when the Australian Electoral Officer for the Territory is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office.

 

Section 31, subsection (3) states:

An Assistant Australian Electoral Officer for a State shall act as Australian Electoral Officer for the State:…

  • (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Australian Electoral Officer for the State is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the office.

 

Section 61, subsection (6) states:

Where, within any period of not more than 30 days (being a period before the making under subsection 66(1) of a proposed redistribution of the State by the Redistribution Committee), 2 or more persons who are members of the Redistribution Committee die or become unable, by reason of physical or mental incapacity, to serve or continue to serve as members of the Redistribution Committee, the Electoral Commission shall, by instrument in writing, revoke the appointment of the Redistribution Committee and appoint, for the purposes of the redistribution, another Redistribution Committee for the State in accordance with subsections (2), (3), (3A) and (4).

 

Section 70, subsection (4) states:

Where, within any period (in paragraph (b) referred to as the relevant period) of not more than 30 days (being a period after the making under subsection 66(1) of a proposed redistribution of the State or Territory by the Redistribution Committee for the State or Territory), 2 or more persons who are members of the augmented Electoral Commission die or become unable, by reason of physical or mental incapacity, to serve or continue to serve as members of the augmented Electoral Commission:

  • (a) the augmented Electoral Commission must reconsider all objections and comments lodged with the Electoral Commission under section 69 in relation to the proposed redistribution, being objections and comments that had previously been considered by the augmented Electoral Commission;
  • (b) subsection 72(2) has effect as if the reference in that subsection to 60 days after the expiration of the period referred to in section 69 were a reference to 60 days after the expiration of the relevant period.

 

Section 93, subsection (8) states:

… A person who:

  • (a) by reason of being of unsound mind, is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting… is not entitled to have his or her name placed on or retained on any Roll or to vote at any Senate election or House of Representatives election.

 

Section 118, subsection (4) states:

The DRO shall not remove an elector’s name from the Roll … unless the objection is accompanied by a certificate of a medical practitioner stating that, in the opinion of the medical practitioner, the elector, because of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting.

 

Section 184A, subsection (2) states:

An application [for registration as a general postal voter] shall be made on one of the following grounds:…

  • (b) the applicant:
    • (i) is a patient at a hospital (other than a special hospital or a hospital that is a polling place); and
      • (ii) because of serious illness or infirmity, is unable to travel from the hospital to a polling place;
  • (c) because of serious illness or infirmity, the applicant is unable to travel from the place where he or she lives to a polling place;
  • … (f) a registered medical practitioner has certified, in writing, that the applicant is so physically incapacitated as to be incapable of signing his or her name;…

 

Section 194, subsection (1) states:

The following requirements for postal voting shall be substantially observed…

  • (f) if the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, complete the postal vote…

 

Section 200E states:

Pre-poll voting:

(7) If the elector satisfies the officer that the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, do any of the following acts:

  • (a) fill in the pre-poll vote certificate with the required particulars;
  • (b) read the certificate to the voter;
  • (c) complete the certificate;
  • (d) mark the elector’s vote on the ballot-paper;
  • (e) fold the ballot-paper and return it to the officer.

(8) Directions under subsection (7) may be given by reference to a how-to-vote card…

 

Section 234A states:

(1) If the presiding officer at a polling place is satisfied that a voter is unable to enter the polling place because of physical disability, illness, advanced pregnancy or other condition, the presiding officer may allow the voter to vote outside the polling place, in close proximity to the polling place...

(5) If the voter also satisfies the presiding officer that he or she is unable to vote without assistance, the presiding officer may, with the voter’s consent, allow a polling official to mark and fold the voter’s ballot-paper.

 

Section 247 states:

(4) The person in charge of a station may, by instrument in writing, appoint a person (including the Assistant Antarctic Returning Officer) to act as the Antarctic Returning Officer for the station during any period, or during all periods, when the Antarctic Returning Officer for the station is absent from duty at the station, is absent from Antarctica, or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of the office.

(5) The person in charge of a station may, by instrument in writing, appoint a person to act as the Assistant Antarctic Returning Officer for the station during any period, or during all periods, when the Assistant Antarctic Returning Officer for the station is acting as Antarctic Returning Officer for the station, is absent from duty at the station, is absent from Antarctica, or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of the office.

 

Section 336, subsection (2) states:

Where a person who is unable to sign his or her name in writing makes a mark as his or her signature to an electoral paper, the mark shall be deemed to be his or her personal signature, if it is identifiable as such, and is made in the presence of a witness who signs the electoral paper as such witness: Provided that nothing in this section shall authorize any person to sign any electoral paper by a mark or otherwise than in his or her own handwriting in cases where the Act or the regulations require that the electoral paper be signed in the persons’ own handwriting.

 

Excerpts from the Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918, last amended 2005)