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Terms of reference

The NSW Electoral Commissioner will review and report on whether internet and other forms of Technology Assisted Voting (TAV), in addition to ordinary telephone voting, can be provided by the NSW Electoral Commission at future elections and referenda for particular classes of eligible electors and, if so, in what form and at what scale.

The report will consider:

  1. the constitutional context for and policy objectives of the Electoral Act 2017, including the protection of the franchise for all NSW residents who are eligible to vote

  2. contemporary community and industry standards for balancing accessibility, cost, privacy and security in digital transactions that are fundamental to the relationship between citizen and state

  3. the needs of electors who are blind or have low vision, and other electors with a disability, in relation to independently casting a secret and verifiable vote

  4. the circumstances and requirements for electors located overseas, outside NSW or in rural and remote areas

  5. the risks and benefits of TAV to the integrity of the NSW electoral system, including the impact of TAV at different scales on the level of risk of technical error and on the rates of participation in NSW elections

  6.  the feasibility of making TAV available though personal networked devices at the 2027 State election and subsequent state and local government elections

  7. the suitability of current legislation to support TAV and whether it should provide for special arrangements in the event of a technical failure (including, in appropriate circumstances, that the unavailability of TAV does not invalidate the result of an election)

  8. technology-related developments in electoral administrations in similar jurisdictions

  9. mechanisms for national coordination of TAV policies and systems for the States, Territories and the Commonwealth.

The review will report on administrative and legislative steps required to implement any recommended options for TAV, as well the potential financial and other resourcing impacts for the NSW Electoral Commission and NSW Government.