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Context and background

The NSW Electoral Commissioner is reviewing options for technology assisted voting in New South Wales for the 2027 State election and subsequent state and local government elections (the review). 

The NSW Electoral Commission first provided technology assisted voting through iVote in 2011. It has featured:

  1. operator assisted telephone voting

  2. independent telephone voting using interactive voice recording, and

  3. internet voting through a web browser.

iVote was used again for eligible electors in the 2015 and 2019 State general elections, a number of intervening State by-elections and at the 2021 Local Government elections. 

The availability of technology assisted voting for electors who are blind or have low vision was central to the implementation of iVote in New South Wales. Technology assisted voting also has been available to other classes of eligible electors, that is electors with other forms of disability, silent electors, electors in remote locations within New South Wales and electors outside New South Wales on election day.

In March 2022, the Commissioner determined that, except for telephone voting for electors who are blind or have low vision, technology assisted voting will not be used at the March 2023 New South Wales State election or any state or local government by-election in the intervening period.

The determination and the reasons for it are published on the website of the NSW Electoral Commission. In October 2022, the NSW Parliament passed legislation confirming that voting by telephone by electors who are blind or have low vision was the only type of technology assisted voting permitted for the 2023 election. 

This review focuses on the potential future use in NSW of technology assisted voting. The review is applying a risk-based assessment of technology assisted voting options, balancing the risk of technical reliability and cyber security threats with the needs of particular elector classes, the requirements of electoral laws and cost-effectiveness. 

Following the publication of an Issues and Questions paper in December 2022, stakeholders provided feedback to the review.

The interim review report sets out provisional analysis and options for technology assisted voting. Read the interim review report.

Submissions responding to the interim review report are invited by Thursday 14 September 2023.