The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums and maintaining the Commonwealth electoral roll. The AEC also provides a range of electoral information and education programs and activities. Further responsibilities of the AEC can be found under Functions of the AEC.
The AEC's structure is shown in the AEC Organisation Chart.
The AEC is headed by a Chairperson (a Judge or a retired Judge of the Federal Court), the Electoral Commissioner, and a non-judicial member (usually the Australian Statistician). The Electoral Commissioner has the powers of a Secretary of a Department under the Public Service Act and the Financial Management and Accountability Act. The Chairperson and the third, non-judicial member both hold their offices on a part-time basis. These positions are currently held by:
* The Hon. James Burchett QC (Chairperson)
* Mr Ian Campbell (Electoral Commissioner)
* Mr Brian Pink (part-time non-judicial member)
In addition there is a Deputy Electoral Commissioner, two First Assistant Commissioners and five Assistant Commissioners. Each State and the Northern Territory has an Australian Electoral Officer (AEO). AEOs are responsible for the management of electoral activities within their State or Territory. The Australian Capital Territory only has an AEO during elections.
The AEC has a National Office in Canberra, a State Office in each State capital and a Northern Territory office in Darwin. Each State is divided into Electoral Divisions. Each division has a Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) who is responsible for electoral administration within that division, in particular, the maintenance of the electoral roll and preparations for the next electoral event.
The rules for federal elections are contained in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
Rules for referendums are contained in the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984.
The AEC's ABN is 21 133 285 851
Did you know...
Between 1973 and 1984 it was known as the Australian Electoral Office and was first established as a branch of the Department of Home Affairs in 1902.
On 21 February 1984 following major amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) was established as an independent statutory authority.
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