2016-17 Year in Review

Department of Premier and Cabinet established new guidelines for Annual Reporting with reforms stipulating only information required by Act, Regulation or public complaints by the Ombudsman to be included with audited Financial Statements.

In support of legislative annual reporting requirements, ECSA have developed this ‘Year in Review’ with highlights of 2016–17 together with other information reporting on performance.

 

Contents within Year in Review include:

  • Highlights for Reporting Year 2016–17
  • Elections
    • Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive Board elections
    • Other election services
    • Supplementary elections and casual vacancies
  • Local Government Representation Reviews
  • Enforcement of compulsory voting
  • Funding and Disclosure
    • Online lodgement system
    • Disclosures
    • Special assistance funding 
  • Reciprocal arrangements with electoral commissions
    • Interstate Elections 2016–17
    • WA Secondments
  • Community awareness and information
    • Community engagement events
    • Consultative stakeholder engagement meetings
  • Promoting a healthy and safe work environment
    • Wellness and engagement
    • Risk management
    • Work health and safety workshops and training
    • WHS risks


Appointment of new Electoral Commissioner

On 20 February 2017, Mick Sherry was appointed the South Australian Electoral Commissioner. Upon appointment, a key priority for the remainder of 2016-17 was to ensure ECSA was structured and operating effectively to deliver future key priorities including the State Election and Local Government Elections in 2018.

New Strategic Plan for ECSA

After a significant planning process, a new four-year strategic plan was implemented. The Strategic Plan 2017-20 focuses on our purpose of providing high quality electoral services for South Australians and is built around the following four strategic priorities:

  • Delivering high quality elections services
  • Engaging the community and stakeholders to promote awareness, participation and compliance in electoral matters.
  • Conduct research into a range of electoral matters
  • Cultivate a high performing values-based organisation.

To assist shaping the culture of the organisation, the new Strategic Plan also included the following new organisational values:

Independent: acting with impartiality and transparency
Professional: demonstrating respect, integrity and accountability at all times
Innovative: an agile, creative, engaged and responsive organisation

An organisational realignment was implemented to ensure ECSA was positioned to deliver the four strategic priorities of the strategic plan.

Strategies to improve internal communication and a new governance framework including the introduction of an Organisational Health Committee to monitor ECSA’s corporate responsibilities were
implemented.

Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission

ECSA provided considerable support during 2016-17 to the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission (EDBC) with the development and support of a dedicated website to deliver all information relating to the deliberations of the EDBC. Additional administrative assistance assisted in the development of a separate records management system for the EDBC, relating to current and past EDBC records.

Voting data from the 2014 State Election was extracted and used to undertake a geographic analysis of boundary changes and political consequences. Budgeting and finance services were also provided along with procuring printing services for both the EDBC’s Draft and Final Reports.

Following the unsuccessful Full Court challenge against the Order of the EDBC, considerable effort was put into identifying and encoding the necessary boundary changes into the national Roll Management System (RMANS) to enable rolls to be prepared for the next election.

Working together with other electoral commissions

The Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand (ECANZ) is the peak body comprising Electoral Commissioners from the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand and each of the States and Territories. ECANZ has promoted the establishment of national working groups to focus on various operational and administrative areas of election administration.

Staff from the ECSA are currently serving as members on working groups including, Materials Management, Internet Voting and Indigenous Participation. An additional workshop was convened during the year to enable officers responsible for administration of Funding and Disclosure legislation to meet and share experiences in this new and complex area of electoral law.

Several ECANZ meetings were held during the year with the schedule programming a joint meeting and workshop hosted by ECSA in November 2016. Following the ECANZ meeting, a full day facilitated workshop was held on stakeholder management with Prof Dean Jaensch AO and the Hon John Hill MP, former Minister for Health and the ALP State Secretary participating in a round-table discussion on stakeholder expectations. The major session of the day, attended by Electoral Commissioners and senior elections administrators, provided a hypothetical crisis management situation with the group tasked with identifying processes, procedures and stakeholder management challenges where a polling official was the subject of a one-punch attack with the polling place becoming a crime scene. A report on the outcome of the workshop was prepared and presented to ECANZ at a later meeting.

Forward focus

Over the next 12 months, the focus of the organisation will be on preparing and delivering the State Election in March 2018. Significant changes will be involved for the next election including:

  • a new voting method for the Legislative Council;
  • additional voting options for sight impaired electors;
  • a new funding and disclosure portal; and
  • the introduction of an EasyVote Card App that will provide important information to electors.

 Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive Board elections

Elections for the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive Board are held every three years. The board has 14 members, with two members elected from each electorate. Each electorate will be represented by one female and one male board member.

Management of elections for the APY Executive Board present significant challenges due to the remoteness of each of the communities within the APY Lands, located some 1200–1400 kilometers from Adelaide, particularly with a seven-day nomination period.

Map Figure 1: Map of the seven APY electorates

 

As with past electoral practices, the services of interpreters were engaged by ECSA to translate important election information into Pitjantjatjara language in support of the supplementary elections.

School principals were appointed as electoral officials to oversee the election process including managing the receipt of nominations and providing voting services on polling day.

Several in-language election posters were printed and dispatched for display in prominent areas within the electorates such as the Community stores, Community Council offices and Health Clinics to advertise and inform voters of the upcoming elections.

Exec Figure 2: APY election poster

Voting for the APY Executive Board election was conducted between 9:30am and 3:00pm on Wednesday 5 April 2017.

Supplementary elections for three female members of the APY Executive Board also occurred during 2016-17 for the electorates of Mimili (1 female vacancy), Pukatja, Yunyarinyi,Anilalya, Turkey Bore
(1 female vacancy) and Iwantja, Amuruna, Railway Bore, Witjintitja, Wallatinna (1 female vacancy).

Following the close of nominations, candidate eligibility was checked, and it was determined that no voting was necessary to fill the supplementary elections.

APY Executive Board Election results 2017

Electorate   Candidate Name Results No. of votes Total votes
Pipalyatjara and Kalka Men Richard Kanari Elected Unopposed
  Women Sally Scales Elected Unopposed
Kanypi, Nyapari, Angatja and Watarru Men David Miller   7  31
    Anton Baker Elected 24
  Women Marita Baker Elected Unopposed    
Amata and Tjurma Men Frank Young Elected  46 89 
    Owen Burton    43
  Women Tjutjana Susan Burton Elected Unopposed
Kaljiti, Irintata and Watinuma Men Wayne Ken   5   38
     Arnie Frank   4
    Murray George Elected 29
  Women Mantuwa George   1  37  
    Nyukana Norris Elected 24
    Jennica Waye   7
    Veronica Burton   5
Pukatja, Yunyarinyi, Anilalya and Turkey Bore Men Gary Lewis   45   107
    Trevor Adamson   11
    Donald Fraser Elected   51
  Women Lois Fraser Election Failed
    Makinti Minutjukur
Mimili Men Willy Martin Elected Unopposed
  Women No Candidates Election Failed
Iwantja, Amuruna, Railway Bore, Witjintitja and Wallatinna Men Ronnie Brumby   24  55
    Bernard Singer Elected 31
  Women No Candidates Election Failed  
Total Votes     357

Other election services

Additional election services provided by ECSA during the period have included:

Organisation Date Election Type No of electors
Adelaide Festival Centre – Professional & Administration Enterprise Agreement ballot July 2016 Enterprise Agreement 115
Shine SA – Election of 2 Board Members September 2016 Board Members 20
Dept of Treasury and Finance – Enterprise Agreement ballot for Assistants to Members of the South Australian Parliament September 2016 Enterprise Agreement 199
Architectural Practice Board of South Australia - Election of 3 persons to the Board November 2016 Board Members 709

Supplementary elections and casual vacancies

Supplementary Elections are held when it is necessary to fill a casual vacancy on a Council. The Electoral Commissioner assumes the role of Returning Officer for these elections.

Supplementary elections can be conducted either entirely by ECSA, or in partnership with the council.

During 2016-17, eleven supplementary elections were held, all of which were conducted entirely by ECSA.

Summary of Elections Conducted in 2016–17

Council Name Election Ratio of Candidates Number of Electors Returned Ballot Material Voter Turnout %
     Election Type Date to Vacancy On Roll Contested Elections    
Clare & Gilbert Valleys
     Area Councillor
11.07.2016 4:1 6600 6600 2252 38.3
City of Whyalla
     Mayor
08.08.2016 7:1 15221 15221 7102 46.7
City of Mitcham
     The Park Ward
12.09.2016  6:1 7162 7162   1902  26.6
Adelaide Plains Council
     Lewiston Ward
10.10.2016  4:1 2167 2167  319 14.7
City of Tea Tree Gully
      Water Gully Ward
10.10.2016   4:1 12378  12378   2183 22.7
Southern Mallee District Council
      Bews Ward
30.01.2017  1:1 756 N/A  N/A N/A 
City of West Torrens
      Keswick Ward
30.01.2017  4:1 5779 5779  1225  21.2
Northern Areas Council
      Rocky River Ward
06.03.2017  2:1 1154 1154  363  31.5 
District Council of Streaky Bay
      Eyre Ward
06.03.2017  2:1  785 785  406  51.7
City of Salisbury
      Levels Ward
08.05.2017  8:1 12640  12640  2456  19.4
City of Tea Tree Gully
      Balmoral Ward
13.06.2017  9:1  11793 11793  2037  19.4
TOTAL 44635 43875 10675 27.9


Councils are required to conduct a representation review once during a period to determine if their community would benefit from an alteration to their current composition andstructure. These reviews
are prescribed by the Minister for Local Government, but Council can also voluntarily undertake them at any time or as directed by the Electoral Commissioner.

The Electoral Commissioner is required to certify that the reviews have met the requirements for reviews set out in the Local Government Act 1999

During the reporting year nine local government representation reviews were submitted and certified.

Council Name Revised Structure
Kangaroo Island Council Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and nine area councillors.
District Council of Kimba Retain the principal member of Chairperson (with the title of Mayor), retain a no ward structure and seven area councillors.
City of Campbelltown Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a ward structure of five wards with each ward represented by two councillors. Wards to retain the existing names of Hectorville, Gorge, Newton, River and Woodforde.
City of Mount Gambier Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and reduce the number of area councillors from ten to eight.
City of Port Lincoln Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and reduce the number of area councillors from ten to nine.
Berri Barmera Council Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and eight area councillors.
The Barossa Council Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and 11 area councillors.
District Council of Grant Retain the principal member of Mayor, retain a no ward structure and 11 area councillors.
Southern Mallee District Council Retain the principal member of Chairperson (with the title of Mayor) abolish the existing ward structure and reduce the number of elected members from nine to seven.

During 2016-17, Adelaide Hills Council submitted a representation review, but failed to achieve certification. The Adelaide Hills Council have been asked to undertake corrective actions and re-submit their review.

The following ten councils submitted representation reviews prior to 30 June 2017 and are pending assessment:

Northern Areas Council City of Salisbury
City of Playford City of Port Adelaide Enfield
District Council of Yankalilla Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council
City of Victor Harbor District Council of Barunga West
City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters District Council of Loxton Waikerie

A further 17 councils have commenced representation reviews with a final gazettal date of 12 December 2017.

District Council of Ceduna District Council of Cleve
District Council of Coober Pedy Copper Coast Council
District Council of Karoonda East Murray Kingston District Council
District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula Naracoorte Lucindale Council
District Council of Orroroo Carrieton City of Onkaparinga
District Council of Peterborough City of Port Augusta
Renmark Paringa Council City of Tea Tree Gully
District Council of Tumby Bay Corporation of the Town of Walkerville
City of Whyalla  

 


Under section 85 of the Electoral Act 1985 an elector must not fail to vote without a valid and sufficient reason or fail to respond to the Notice provided by the Electoral Commissioner. This Apparent Failure
to Vote Notice is sent by the Electoral Commissioner, within 90 days after the close of the election, to electors who appear to have not voted at an election under the Electoral Act 1985.

If an electors does not respond to the apparent failure to vote notice or provides an invalid reason as to why they did not vote, they are issued with an expiation notice. This is followed up with an expiation
reminder notice with a late fee if it is still unpaid. All outstanding expiated offences are then sent to the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit (FERU) within the Attorney-General’s Department. FERU take
enforcement action and can restrict vehicle registration, suspend driver’s licenses and garnish money from bank accounts. There are currently 9,001 fines pertaining to the 2014 State Election and 449 fines
pertaining to the 2014 Fisher and 2015 Davenport by-elections currently outstanding.

The 2016–17 year also saw minimal failure to vote activity relating to previous state elections and by-elections. These numbers are not reported.

 


Online lodgement system

A large part of election planning has involved working with developers to develop an online lodgement system to assist stakeholders with their lodgement obligations. ECSA aims to have an online lodgement system available by January 2018.

Disclosures

Half-yearly disclosures were lodged in July 2016 and January 2017 (relevant entity returns and donor returns). Stakeholders are becoming more familiar with the process as they complete each half-yearly lodgement cycle and there have been no issues with lodgements over the past year.

Special assistance funding

Valid special assistance funding claims were received from the eligible parties for both half yearly periods, resulting in just under $230,000 being paid out for these claims during the 2016–17 financial year.


Pre-poll voting facilities were provided for six Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) during the reporting year. A reciprocal arrangement between EMBs allows electors travelling outside their home State to cast their vote at a State or Territory electoral office whenever a by-election, referendum or general election is held in their absence.

The following table shows the election activity for 2016–17:

Interstate Elections 2016–17

Jurisdiction Election Date Type Chamber District/Division No. of votes issued
Queensland 16.07.16 By Legislative Assembly Toowoomba South Nil
Northern Territory 27.08.16 GE Legislative Assembly   52
Australian Capital Territory 15.10.16 GE Legislative Assembly   42
New South Wales 12.11.16 By Legislative Assembly Canterbury, Orange, Wollongong Nil
Western Australia 11.03.17 GE Legislative Assembly   183
New South Wales 08.04.17 By Legislative Assembly Gosford, Manly, North Shore Nil
Tasmania 06.05.17 GE Legislative Council Launceston, Murchison, Rumney 2
By = By-election, Ref = Referendum, GE = General election


WA secondments

ECSA has an arrangement with other Electoral Management Bodies where staff are seconded to other states’ major electoral events to gain valuable experience and provide specialist advice and support. Two ECSA staff were seconded to the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to work at the Western Australian State General Election held on 11 March 2017.

Secondments

One staff member spent six weeks as a supervisor in the WAEC call centre where they gained valuable insight into how an election call centre is managed. This included the provision of staff, training methodologies, and observation of day-to-day duties, challenges and escalations. The handling of large call volumes and rostering of staff was also closely monitored.

The other staff member worked as a supervisor at the WAEC Declaration Vote Processing Centre. Both ECSA staff reported that their secondment experience was a valuable development opportunity and will, where appropriate, lead to the incorporation of several ideas and processes into ECSA business operations.


Under section 8(1)(c) of the Electoral Act 1985, ECSA is required to ensure that the public is adequately informed of their democratic rights and obligations. To meet these legislative requirements ECSA undertakes various community and stakeholder engagement activities including annual attendance at the Tauondi College Open Day, and its long-term commitment and sponsorship to Youth Parliament. Ongoing consultative stakeholder engagement allows ECSA to assess its current and future projects through community feedback and participation.

In addition, ECSA has embraced the state government’s Digital by Default Declaration in using digital technologies to provide online, mobile-ready, easy to use and accessible services. The website is ECSA’s primary communication tool for the delivery of information on all aspects of electoral matters.

Community

Community engagement

Youth Parliament

ECSA continued to work with the YMCA through sponsorship and support for Youth Parliament. We take pride in continuing to promote the value of democracy to the youth of South Australia

APY Lands

The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016 resulted in significant legislative amendments being introduced for the conduct of elections for the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive Board. The legislative changes support gender balance representation on the APY Board with each electorate requiring a male and a female representative to be elected. Eligibility to stand for election to the Executive Board and to vote in the elections require enrolment on the State electoral roll. Further eligibility requirements for prospective candidates now require the introduction of criminal history checks as a test of suitability to serve on the Executive Board.

The APY elections saw the introduction of electronic voting through ‘touch-screen’ computer technology with electors being able to select the male and female candidate of their choice by touching their photo on a large format screen. The new system was well received and provided the opportunity to introduce voting across each of the seven electorates within the APY Lands, as required under the amended legislation. The electronic voting system also provided the ability for electoral officers to visit hospitals in Adelaide and Alice Springs to enable Anangu located outside the APY Lands to participate in their Executive Board elections. Information briefings were delivered to the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, officers of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation and through the Paper Tracker radio program. The briefings provided updates on the changes in the electorates; male and female positions; eligibility for candidacy and voting; and the electronic voting system.

A two-day workshop in Umuwa was conducted to provide information and training on the new nomination processes and ‘touch-screen’ voting system to principals and school workers. ECSA attended and convened several events, meetings and workshops during 2016-17 including the following;
  • The federal election visitor program provided valuable understanding of the changes to the Senate voting system which have flowed through to the Legislative Council election.
  • The launch of the ‘Democracy Machine’ and opening ceremony at the Migration Museum.
  • Attendance at the National Annual Disability Access Committee meeting in Canberra provided valuable opportunities to engage with stakeholders and to gain further insight into expectations.

Community engagement events

  • Tauondi College Open Day – 27/10/16
  • NAIDOC Family Fun Day – 11/7/16
  • 2016 Youth Parliament

Consultative stakeholder engagement meetings

  • Aboriginal and Indigenous people
  • Blind and vision impaired
  • Multicultural stakeholders
  • Youth sector

Going forward, ECSA is looking at redesigning the agency’s website and engaging with the community through an active social media strategy.


ECSA is committed to the South Australian Government’s Work Health and Safety strategies and initiatives and aims to fulfil all legislated obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and associated regulations.

Wellness and engagement

ECSA values its employees and is committed to providing a safe and supportive workplace with systems of work that ensure that all staff are safe from injury and risks to their health while they are at work.

WHS-related information is regularly disseminated to all staff, via discussions, meeting minutes and direct emails. Additionally, ECSA provides work place safety reference materials and health and safety initiatives that are accessible to staff at all times, including:

  • SafeWork SA ‘stretching your productivity’ desk card
  • Ergonomic Mesh Chair adjustment instructions
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Annual influenza vaccination program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • WHS & IM policy fact sheets
  • SafeWork SA publications.

Risk Management

ECSA understands the importance of risk management as a planning tool and is committed to ensuring that agency management systems integrate safety and wellbeing planning into all operations.

A small number of facilities-related issues were raised by ECSA staff during the 2016-17 year. These were addressed immediately where possible or referred to building management for action. ECSA’s Leadership Group and WHS Committee review incidents and follow up on outcomes in keeping with the commitment to continuous improvement. Staff are kept informed of actions being undertaken.

Work Health and Safety Workshops and Training

In 2016-17 the following WHS aligned activities were undertaken:

  • CPR Training with St John
  • EAP introduction session & promotion of services
  • Training on Duress alarm and fire alarm procedures.

WHS Risks

ECSA conducts regular WHS audits and inspections of the facilities and staff are encouraged to be proactive about reporting risks in the workplace. ECSA is committed to ensuring that any identified issues are investigated and dealt with promptly.

2016-17 Annual Report

This annual report is presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Public Sector Act 2009, Public Sector Regulations 2010 and Public Finance and Audit Act 1987 and meets the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.
Submitted on behalf of the Electoral Commission of South Australia by:

Mick Sherry

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

 

Content included in 2016-17 Annual Report below:

  • Section A: Reporting required under the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public
    • Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987
    • Agency purpose or role
    • Objectives
    • Key strategies and their relationship to SA Government objectives
    • Agency programs and initiatives and their effectiveness and efficiency
    • Legislation administered by the agency
    • Organisation of the agency
    • Other agencies related to this agency (within the Minister’s area/s of responsibility)
    • Employment opportunity programs
    • Agency performance management and development systems
    • Occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs of the agency and their effectiveness 
    • Fraud detected in the agency
    • Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud
    • Whistle-blowers’ disclosure 
    • Executive employment in the agency 
    • Consultants
    • Financial performance of the agency
    • Other information requested by the Minister(s) or other significant issues affecting the agency or reporting pertaining to independent functions
  • Section B: Reporting required under any other act or regulation
    • Nil to report
  • Section C: Reporting of public complaints as requested by the Ombudsman.
  • Summary of complaints by subject
  • Appendix: Audited financial statements 2016-17

Section A: Reporting required under the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987

Agency purpose or role

To provide services which enable the fair and independent election of government and governing bodies and which help and encourage the community to participate with confidence and trust in the democratic processes of representation.

Objectives

The Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA) conducts fair and independent state, local government and nominated agency government elections and utilises its skill base to support non-government electoral activities and offer electoral advice across all community sectors.

A range of electoral services and products are provided, covering the parliamentary and non-parliamentary sectors, including:

  • conduct of elections for representatives to sit in the state parliament, local
  • government authorities and other organisations (attendance or postal voting)
  • monitoring and reporting disclosures of donations and campaign expenditure for registered political parties, candidates, agents and third parties
  • administering the public funding for election campaigns for registered political parties and candidates
  • reimbursements of administrative expenditure incurred by registered political parties
  • electoral education and information provision for the South Australian community
  • research and evaluation of electoral matters
  • electoral roll products and maps
  • support for parliamentary electoral district boundary and council boundary representation reviews.

Key strategies and their relationship to SA Government objectives

Key strategy SA Government objective
Achieve greater efficiencies and effectiveness in the conduct of elections Public Sector Act 2009 Principle 4 Excellence 14. A Modern Public Service / Innovation
Improve support provided to stakeholders to enable them to participate more effectively Target 23: Social participation: Increase the proportion of South Australians participating in social, community and economic activities by 2020.
Achieve business continuity and efficiencies through responsive and flexible work practices Public Sector Act 2009 Principle 5 Employerof Choice and Target 13 Work-life balance (detail below)
Invest in our people and promote our values Target 13: Work-Life Balance: Improve the quality of life of all South Australians through maintenance of a healthy work-life balance.
Promote a healthy and safe work environment  Target 21: Greater Safety at work: Achieve a 40% reduction in injury by 2012 and a further 50% reduction by 2022.

Agency programs and initiatives and their effectiveness and efficiency

Program: Parliamentary Electoral Services

Ensures the delivery of parliamentary electoral services for the South Australian community.

Indicators of performance/effectiveness/efficiency

  2017–18 Target 2016–17 Estimated Result 2016–17 Target 2015–16 Actual
No. of elections challenged and upheld due to administrative error -- -- -- --
% of monthly member of parliament electoral roll extracts provided within seven days of end of month processing 90% 100% 90% 100%
% of people eligible to vote enrolled on the roll >90% >90% >90% 96.1%
Size of the variance between initial results and any required recount 0.002 n.a. 0.002 n.a.
% of parliamentary elections declared within 18 days of poll close 98% n.a. 98% n.a.
No. of education activities delivered 3 5 5 3
No. of research projects completed 2 4 4 4

Comments

Enabled eligible South Australians to be enrolled on the electoral roll and to understand their democratic rights and obligations.

Program: Non-Parliamentary Electoral Services

The delivery of non-parliamentary electoral services for South Australian organisations and the community at large.

Indicators of performance/effectiveness/efficiency

2017–18 Target 2016–17 Estimated Result 2016–17 Target 2015–16 Actual
No. of elections challenged and upheld due to administrative error -- -- -- --
% of rolls provided to councils within five days of roll closure 95% 100% 95% 100%
No. of information and research programs 3 5 5 3
Size of the variance between initial results and any required recount 0.002 n.a. 0.002 n.a.
% of non-parliamentary elections and polls provisionally declared within 12 working hours from poll close 95% 100% 95% 100%

Comments

Provided election and information services to the community at the local level.

Legislation administered by the agency

The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for the administration of the Electoral Act and, as at 30 June 2017, was the mandated electoral authority for the following: 

Enabling legislation Recipient Members Elected Term Due
Electoral Act 1985 State of South Australia 47 HA
11 LC
4 years Mar 2018
City of Adelaide Act 1998
Schedule 1
City of Adelaide Lord Mayor
11 Councillors
4 years Nov 2018
Local Government
(Elections) Act 1999
All other councils
(excl Roxby Downs)
50 Mayor
645 Councillors
4 years Nov 2018
Superannuation Funds Management
Corporation of South Australia Act 1995
Superannuation Funds Management
Corporation of South Australia Regulations 1995
South Australian
Superannuation Funds
Management Corporation
1 3 years Sept 2018
Superannuation Act 1988
Superannuation Regulations 2001
Superannuation Board 2 3 years Sept 2018
South Eastern Water Conservation
and Drainage Act 1992
South Eastern Water
Conservation and
Drainage Board
3 3 years Sept 2019
Anangu Pitjantjatjara
Yankunytjatjara Land
Rights Act 1981
Anangu Pitjantjatjara
Yankunytjatjara (APY)
Lands Council
10 3 years Aug 2018

 Other administered items the Commissioner is responsible for include:

  • serving as a member of the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission that convenes following each State election to review House of Assembly electoral district boundaries
  • ensuring that boundary changes are effected onto the roll management database
  • certifying local government elector representation reviews under the Local Government Act

Organisation of the agency

The  Electoral Commission SA is composed of five branches that provide professional and impartial electoral services for South Australians.


OrgChart

 

Other agencies related to this agency (within the Minister’s area/s of responsibility)

Nil to report

Employment opportunity programs

The Commission did not have any employment opportunity programs in 2016-17.

 

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system Assessment of effectiveness and efficiency
The Commission’s Performance Management and Development Program has been an ongoing process of formal and informal discussions with each permanent employee. All permanent employees have received a documented review and discussion regarding the individual’s performance management in relation to the year ended 30 June 2017.

Occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs of the agency and their effectiveness

Occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs Effectiveness
Safety and wellbeing is part of the induction process. All new employees have been given a detailed, structured briefing from a Health and Safety Representative covering work health and safety (WHS) processes and procedures during their induction.
WHS Committee established under section 75 of the Work Health and Safety Act All new employees have been given a detailed, structured briefing from a Health and Safety Representative covering work health and safety (WHS) processes and procedures during their induction.
Accountability for safety and wellbeing. Staff have been encouraged to utilise leave and flexible working arrangements to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

WHS matters are discussed at each staff meeting, with regular updates provided to staff via the Health and Safety Representatives, email, the WHS noticeboard and work place safety reference materials and initiatives.

In 2016-17, WHS issues were addressed immediately where possible, or referred to building management for action and follow up.
Employee assistance program (EAP) The EAP provides confidential counselling and support from professionally qualified psychologists and counsellors to all employees and immediate family members for issues that are impacting on their wellbeing.

A new provider, Corporate Health Group, was engaged in 2016-17 to provide a secure, confidential service to employees.

Fraud detected in the agency

There were no instances of fraud detected by the Commission during 2016-17.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The following strategies are employed to prevent and control fraud:

  • The Commission has adopted the all-purpose policy with respect to the prevention,detection and control of fraud, corruption and other criminal conduct, maladministration and misconduct in connection with the activities of the agency issued by the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment during the year.

  • All employees are required in the course of the performance of their duties to take action to prevent, detect and report suspected fraud or corruption by an employee, contractor or third party in accordance with the Commission’s Fraud and Corruption Control Policy.

  • The Auditor-General’s department reviews financial and internal control procedures to reduce the risk of fraud.

Data for the past five years is available at: ecsa.sa.gov.au  from previous annual reports.

Whistle-blowers’ disclosure

There have been no occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Whistle-blowers’ Protection Act 1993.

Data for the past five years is available at: ecsa.sa.gov.au from previous annual reports.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives
Electoral Commissioner (ELECCM) 1
Deputy Electoral Commissioner (ELEDCM) 1

Data for the past five years is available at: ecsa.sa.gov.au from previous Annual Reports.

For further information, the Office for the Public Sector has a data dashboard for further
information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Consultants

No external consultants were engaged by the Commission in 2016-17.

Data for the past five years is available at: ecsa.sa.gov.au from previous Annual Reports.
See also https://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tenders/index.do  for a list of all external consultancies, including nature of work and value. See also the Consolidated Financial
Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance http://treasury.sa.gov.au/  for total value of consultancy contracts across the SA Public Sector.

Financial performance of the agency

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency compared with the previous financial year. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2016-17 are attached to this report. A comparison of the results with the State Budget is contained in the financial statements.

Overview – Controlled activities

The Commission’s net cost of providing services was $4.309 million in 2016-17 compared with $3.975 million in 2015-16, an increase of $334,000, mainly due to the derecognition of capitalised costs amounting to $467,000 in relation to internally developed computer software. Allowing for this expense, the net cost of providing services was slightly less than the previous year.

Summary income statement

$’000 Actual result
2016-17
Actual result
2015-16
Variance
Expenses 5034 4798 236
Income (excluding revenue from government) 725 823 (98)
Net cost of providing services 4309 3 975 334


Expenses by category 2016-17

Piechart1

Income from operating activities was $725,000 in 2016-17, compared with $823,000 in 2015-16, a decrease of $98,000, mainly due to the conduct of the Super SA board election in 2015-16.

Summary statement of financial position

$’000 Actual
2016-17
Actual
2015-16
Variance
Current assets 4682 4206 476
Non-current assets 412 656 (244)
Total assets 5094 4862 232
Current liabilities 441 369 72
Non-current liabilities 547 520 27
Total liabilities 988 889 99
Net assets 4106 3973 133

 Overview – Administered activities

The net result of activities administered by the Electoral Commission SA in 2016-17 was a surplus of $21,000, compared with a surplus of $80,000 in 2015-16.

Summary income statement

$’000 Actual
2016-17
Actual
2015-16
Variance
Expenses 512 720 (208)
Revenues (including revenue from government) 533 800 (267)
Net result 21 80 (59)

Expenses in 2016-17 were $512,000, compared with $720,000 in 2015-16, a decrease of $208,000 mainly due to lower salary costs following the retirement of the previous Electoral Commissioner in March 2016 and the appointment of the current Electoral Commissioner in February 2017.

Revenues in 2016-17 were commensurately lower, combined with lower appropriation required in relation to the conclusion of the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission activities in the current year.

Other financial information

Nil to report

Other information requested by the Minister(s) or other significant issues affecting the agency or reporting pertaining to independent functions

Nil to report

Section B: Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Name and date of act or regulation

Nil to report

Section C: Reporting of public complaints as requested by the Ombudsman


Summary of complaints by subject

Public complaints received by Electoral Commission of SA
Category of complaints by subject Number of instances
Service quality/delivery 0
Behaviour of staff 0
Service access/processes/procedures 0
Other complaints 0
At the time of reporting, ECSA is in the process of drafting a Feedback and ComplaintsPolicy and associated procedures. It is anticipated that this will be issued in the next reporting period.

 


For this section please refer to the PDF  

Annual report 2016-2017

Media releases & interviews

ECSA will be distributing media releases throughout the election period with information for the public and media. These will be available from this website that will update as they are made available. 

Media Releases

16 March 2018      - Count and results 16 March 2018 (PDF 70kB)

5 March 2018        -
 Pre-poll & Glynde matter (PDF 70 kB)

28 Feburary 2018 - 
Misleading information to South Australian voters (PDF 84 kB)

26 February 2018 - 
Record number of electors (PDF 32 kB)

26 February 2018 - 
Declaration of candidates and ballot draws (PDF 122 kB)

22 February 2018 - 
Last chance to enrol (PDF 87 kB)

12 February 2018 - 
EasyVote Card App release (PDF  82 kB)

12 February 2018 - 
New voting option for vision-impaired electors (PDF  87 kB)

Interviews

23 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully talks with Ali Clarke on the ABC Radio Adelaide Breakfast program about today’s declaration of the Poll for the Legislative Council election. David explains the reason for the process taking much longer than at previous elections and that there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of ballot papers requiring scanning and data entry to capture preferences marked by electors. This has seen the process increase from 3 weeks to 5 weeks for this event.

23 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully joined Peter Goers on the ABC 891 Radio Adelaide Drive program to give the latest update on counting in the two closest House of Assembly districts of Adelaide and Mawson. With very few votes remaining, Adelaide did not change with only around 70 outstanding envelopes to be opened and counted on Saturday morning with any last minute postal votes returned. Rachael Sanderson (LIB - 51.0%)) leads Jo Chapley (ALP – 49.0%) by 421 votes. In Mawson, Leon Bignell’s lead over Andy Gilfillan reduced by 84 votes following the counting of 526 declaration votes. Bignell (ALP – 50.2%) now leads Gilfillan (LIB – 49.8%) by 110 votes with only a few postal votes expected to remain for Saturday’s final declaration count. The Legislative Council ballot paper checking and batching process continues with just over half of the polling booth checks completed. Added to the remaining 350 odd polling place checks, continuing next week, will be declaration ballot papers form each of the 47 districts, with anywhere between 5,000 to 9,000 per district making up the 315,000 declaration votes expected.

21 March 2018



Jules Schiller, host of the ABC 891 Radio Adelaide Drive program, describing Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully as ‘almost a presenter on the ABC at the moment’ welcomed David onto the program to talk with Jules and Matt Dorran about latest counting in the most marginal districts still in some doubt. Jules and Matt look into each of those districts, assess the indicative outcomes and chat about aspects of the campaigns. Latest updates in the checking and processing of Legislative Council ballot papers were provided and David gave an indication of the complexity of full counting process for the upper house following the changes to the method of voting, where many more electors will now vote with multiple preferences above an below the line. David re-joined the conversation to provide details of the current analysis on how voters had marked their ballot papers after Jules and Matt wondered what percentage of voters had chosen either method. A question from listener Liz, regarding information provided by someone that a vote marked from 1 to 6 below-the-line was informal, was clarified by David who identified the difference between the voting instructions under the Electoral Act, which require 1 to 12 to be marked, and the counting rules which allow for a ballot paper to be saved as formal as long as it has 1 to 6 marked on it below-the-line.

21 March 2018



With a number of the ABC 891 Radio Adelaide presenter team all appearing to prefer to fully complete the below the line section of their Legislative Council ballot paper, David Bevan spoke with Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully on the mornings program to talk about that and look at the current status of counting in the most interesting districts with close margins. David also answered a listener’s question of why we don’t yet have a state-wide two-party preferred count and explained that with around 13 districts having a candidate in the final two, that is not representing either Liberal or Labor, those districts are still undertaking two-candidate preferred counts. Provisions relating to a recount for any district were also covered with there being no automatic trigger in the Electoral Act for any recounts to be made.

20 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully talked with Peter Goers on the ABC 891 Evenings program about further updates as counting continues in the most marginal House of Assembly districts. Details of the initial stages of sorting and preparing ballot papers for counting in the Legislative Council elections were also provided with checking and sorting completed for around 100 of the 701 polling booths. David explained that media predictions of who may be elected to the upper house will only have been done on the basic percentages of the votes counted on polling night and that this does not contain any of the declaration votes yet to be processed and counted.

19 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully provided Jules Schiller from the ABC 891 Drive program a further update on the status of vote counting in the five most marginal districts, following the counting of early postal and pre-poll declaration votes. David described the change in current vote figures and how the counting of declaration votes might alter the percentage difference in those districts. The latest changes for Newland and Heysen were provided along with an indication of what may happen over the next few days of counting. The processes of sorting, checking and batching the Legislative Council ballot papers prior to the count process was explained, by comparison to previous events, given the change in the method of voting where electors can choose to mark multiple preferences above-the-line or choosing to mark as few as twelve preferences below-the-line..

19 March 2018



As counting in the 2018 State election continues, Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully talked to Sarah Tomlinson from ABC North and West radio about people who might not have been able to vote on polling day and what might happen following the election. David also described the counting process to be followed over the next few days and how the five most marginal districts counts are progressing.

19 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully chatted with Alan Hickey on the FiveAA afternoon show about current count status in the most marginal House of Assembly Districts of Adelaide and Mawson. He explained the votes being counted on the Monday in each of those districts, along with three other close contests, and covered the process for checking, counting and processing the ballot papers for the Legislative Council. David described the need to ensure the checking and counting is done carefully, accurately and methodically so that the correct result is obtained. The result for the Legislative Council, due to the complexity of the count, will be a number of weeks away.

19 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully joined Ali Clarke on ABC 891 Breakfast to talk about the process of counting votes after polling weekend and which marginal districts will start counting Monday 19 March. The return of declaration votes from all around the State was explained and how those votes need to be returned to the Returning Officers to be included into the count. David explained the complexity of the count undertaken on polling night and how some very minor matters can be corrected on the Sunday during the Recheck counts undertaken by the Returning Officers. The timing of the Legislative Council count and the time needed to complete that process was discussed with details on how that process progresses over the next few weeks.

19 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully spoke to Leon Byner on the FiveAA Mornings program about how pre-poll and postal declaration votes are processed and counted to continue the election process and answered a number of questions relating to the conduct of the election and other methods that might be used into the future. David dispelled a couple of incorrect matters relating to payment of polling staff and electoral visitor voting at declared institutions. The continuing counting process in a number of very marginal seats was explained and details of the Adelaide count were provided.

16 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully chatted to Alan Hickey on the FiveAA afternoons show about election preparations and being ready to go for polling day. Pre-poll voting records was the story of the day with around one hundred and twenty thousand pre-poll votes expected by the afternoon. David estimates well over three hundred thousand declaration votes will be cast for this election when considering the ninety-five thousand postal votes already issued and an expected one hundred thousand absentee declaration votes on polling day. David explains the timeframes for counting the votes and how results will be received and updated from Election Night right through to the following weekend when the last postal votes can be received, seven days after polling day. Alan asks about how voters should fill-in their ballot papers to make sure they count. Caller Sharyn recounts a problem with her father not being able to vote on the previous day, at a pre-poll centre, and David arranged to assist her to ensure her father gets to “put his vote where his voice is!”. Caller Shirley was disappointed to hear that her husband’s understanding that voting is compulsory for all electors was correct and that her understanding that people over 90 years of age didn’t have to, was not. Caller Anthony asked about how his daughter, who would be working on Saturday as a nurse, could vote and David was able to use the ECSA Website to immediately find the polling booth at Flinders Medical Centre where Anthony’s daughter would be working. Finally, David highlighted the benefit of taking your EasyVote Card or your downloaded Easyvote Card App to the polling booth when you vote to speed up the process of being marked off the roll.

16 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully joined David Bevan, host of the ABC 891 Mornings program, to take a few calls from listeners and chat about various electoral processes, such as compulsory voting and how and where to vote if you’ve recently moved or working on polling day. David also details how to fill-in your House of Assembly ballot paper and explains the changes to the method of voting for the Legislative Council and the two methods of completing that ballot paper. A caller asks why we provide pencils at polling booths rather than pens and David describes how ballot papers would not be altered as they are in the presence of scrutineers whenever counted and how they are kept securely by polling officials at all times. Finally, David explains why pre-poll votes are not counted on the night of the election as they need to be returned from all of the dozens of issuing centres back to each of the District Returning Officers before they can be counted – this takes a couple of days. Added to hundred thousand plus pre-poll votes, there are nearly another hundred thousand postal votes to be returned, and these can come back for up to 7 days after polling day.

15 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully spoke to Ali Clarke on the ABC 891 Breakfast program to explain the process around election complaints and how a person must not distribute election material that does not comply with, or which is breach of, the Electoral Act. David also covered when parties and candidates can advertise and 48 hour blackout restrictions on television and radio broadcasts under the federal communications law.

7 March 2018



Listen to Peter Greco and Phil Van der Perre from the Vision Australia Radio Adelaide program talk about Phil’s experience voting for the South Australian State Election using VoteAssist at the Royal Society for the Blind’s Head Office in Pirie Street. Phil gives a personal account on his experience voting unassisted for the first time. Phil rates VoteAssist as a 9/10 for useability and recounts how he was able to vote in 15 minutes and how simple the system is to use.

7 March 2018



Listen to Peter Greco and Phil Van der Perre from the Vision Australia Radio Adelaide program talk about Phil’s experience voting for the South Australian State Election using VoteAssist at the Royal Society for the Blind’s Head Office in Pirie Street. Phil gives a personal account on his experience voting unassisted for the first time. Phil rates VoteAssist as a 9/10 for useability and recounts how he was able to vote in 15 minutes and how simple the system is to use.

7 March 2018



Listen to Peter Greco and Phil Van der Perre from the Vision Australia Radio Adelaide program talk about Phil’s experience voting for the South Australian State Election using VoteAssist at the Royal Society for the Blind’s Head Office in Pirie Street. Phil gives a personal account on his experience voting unassisted for the first time. Phil rates VoteAssist as a 9/10 for useability and recounts how he was able to vote in 15 minutes and how simple the system is to use.

2 March 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully joined David Bevan on ABC 891 to discuss voting options for electors who might be remote or travelling interstate or overseas and how they might vote before polling day, by post or visiting a pre-poll centre.

28 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited into the studios of ABC 891 to speak with Peter Goers about all things relating to the upcoming State Election. Topics covered enrolment activity and growth, number of candidates nominating, changes to electoral district boundaries, how to find information on where you are enrolled and where to vote, both on polling day and prior to the day if you’re not able to get to a booth. David also provided further information on the EasyVote Card App , assisted voting for Blind and Vision Impaired electors and interesting facts on the number of polling booths and staff employed to ensure everyone gets to vote.

24 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully spoke with the ABC National AM program about the introduction of assisted voting for electors who are blind or vision impaired.  This interview also relates the empowerment the VoteAssist system gives to those without full use of their vision, through the experience of Peter Greco, Vision Australia Adelaide Radio Host, who lost his sight at a young age.  Peter provides great awareness on the benefits of the system.

21 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on Vision Australia Radio Adelaide’s weekly show with Peter Greco to talk some more about VoteAssist, the system that will provide blind and vision impaired voters their first opportunity to vote independently at a state election in South Australia. Peter mentions his visit to ECSA, the day prior, to take part in a trial of the system.

21 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto ABC 639 to talk about the under-representation of Aboriginal voters in state elections and ECSA’s solutions for changing this. Two teams of polling officials will travel to various remote areas of the state to ensure that Aboriginal voices are heard. The remote polling stations will be in available for double the number of total hours when compared to previous State Elections.

20 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto ABC 891 to talk about the new EasyVote app and explain the solutions for issues that some voters are having with this new electronic platform. Listeners were advised to ensure that they were entering the same name as their electoral enrolment and David also shared a simple way to rectify the issue that some people were having with the date of birth calendar.

20 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on Radio Adelaide 101.5 FM to talk about the ECSA’s latest innovations including the EasyVote app, which is a digital version of the EasyVote card. Other topics included the guidelines for people who are moving house, vote assist provisions for blind and visually impaired voters and re-drawing of electoral boundaries after each state election.

20 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on Radio Adelaide 101.5 FM to talk about the new EasyVote app. David explained that the app streamlines the voting process by providing information including the closest polling booth, lists of candidates and waiting times on polling day on March 17.

16 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited to speak on ABC 891 with David Bevan to answer listener questions about the upcoming state election. Topics of discussion included the deadline for enrolling, voting in areas where boundaries have changed, postal voting, the EasyVote app and the two-party indicative vote.

16 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on ABC 639 to talk about the new EasyVote app. David spoke about the text message that was sent to enrolled voters to encourage them to download the app, which connects people to the location of polling booths, the candidates in their voting district and waiting times on voting day.

14 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on Vision Australia Radio Adelaide’s weekly show with Peter Greco to talk about assisted voting for blind and vision impaired voters in the upcoming state election. This service is being offered in three pre-polling locations as part of a partnership between ECSA and the Royal Society for the Blind.

12 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully appeared on ABC 891 with Jules Schiller to talk about the new Easy Vote card app, which will streamline the voting process. The app tells people where to vote, how to vote and will provide live waiting times on polling day. Listen to the full interview here.

9 February 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto ABC 639 North and West with Sarah Tomlinson to answer questions about the upcoming State Election. Listen to David talk about enrolling by the February 23 deadline, remote voting opportunities and the criteria for postal and pre-poll voting.

3 February 2018



Media Liaison Officer Bianca Zanatta appeared on Vision Australia Radio Adelaide’s weekly show with Peter Greco to discuss how Electoral Commission SA is catering for electors with a vision impairment at the 2018 State Election. Listen to Bianca discuss the trial of electronically-assisted voting that ECSA will be conducting at this election in partnership with the Royal Society for the Blind. 

31 January 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto the Breakfast show on ABC 639 North and West to respond to questions about the upcoming State Election. Listen to David discuss the election campaign, candidate nomination process and the issuing of the writs. 

31 January 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto the ABC Radio Adelaide Mornings show with David Bevan to respond to a range of listeners’ questions about the upcoming State Election. Listen to the full interview with David here. 

23 January 2018



Deputy Electoral Commissioner David Gully was invited onto The Evening Show with Peter Goers on ABC Radio Adelaide to respond to a listener question about people experiencing homelessness enrolling and voting at the upcoming State Election. Listen to David explaining the special enrolment option for the State Election available for people with no fixed address. 

Media Centre

The following resources are available for the media:

Media Kit

The 2018 State Election Media Kit provides media with information on all aspects of the election process to assist with daily news coverage.  

It includes information on:

  • enrolment
  • candidate nominations 
  • when and where people can vote 
  • the new Funding and Disclosure scheme 
  • recent changes to the Electoral Act 
  • VoteAssist 
  • scrutiny and count and, boundary changes.

 

2018 State Election Media Kit  (PDF 6 MB)

Media Enquires

Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA) endeavours to respond to all media enquiries in a reasonable timeframe.

During the 2018 State Election ECSA will issue regular media releases throughout the election period, as well as maintaining Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.  

The Electoral Commissioner, Deputy Electoral Commissioner or ECSA representative may be available for interview or comment by arrangement.  To request an interview or comment please contact the Media Liaison Officer on any of the below methods.  

Should any media representatives wish to film at a polling place on polling day, scrutiny or counting during the week following polling day please contact the Media Liaison Officer to arrange. 

Media Liaison Officer Contact Details 

Media Liaison Officer: Bianca Zanatta
Phone:  (08) 7424 7458 
Mobile:  0401 149 166
Email: ecsa.media@sa.gov.au 

 Please include within your email:

  • details of your enquiry
  • the deadline
  • your contact details.

Media Guidelines

Guidelines for media coverage 

  • All media and their camera crew are asked to ensure that they do not interrupt or cause any inconvenience to voters or polling officials.
  • On arrival media are asked to report to the Polling Booth Manager or other officer in charge.
  • All media and their crews will be under the direction of the Polling Booth Manager and or the Returning Officer.
  • Any filming of a person voting must ensure that none of the voter’s ballot paper selections can be identified.
  • The media must not touch any ballot materials or interfere with the conduct of voting or count procedures.
  • The rights of voters, polling officials and other members of the public in the polling booth who wish not to be filmed must be respected.
  • During the scrutiny and counting of ballot papers, the rights of scrutineers observing the count must be respected should they not wish to move to allow a better shot.

Feedback and Complaints

Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA) values all feedback to ensure continuous improvement to our processes and practices. 

You are welcome to provide feedback or make a complaint about the service you have received from ECSA or our products.

Service Complaint


You can provide feedback or lodge a complaint about our services by:

Online: Feedback and Complaint
In writing postal address: GPO Box 646 Adelaide SA 5001
Telephone:  1300 655 232 (within SA) or +61 8 7424 7400
Email:  ecsa.complaints@sa.gov.au
Face to face: Level 6, 60 Light Square Adelaide SA 5001

Council Election Complaints

To make a formal complaint about an electoral offence under the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999, the complaint must be submitted in writing, using the above Feedback and Complaint page, or the Council Election Complaint Form. The complaint must establish the facts which are the basis of the allegation and be supported by evidence of the alleged electoral offence.

If sufficient evidence is not submitted, we will seek further information to enable proper assessment of the complaint.  The matter will remain on hold until we have the information.

What can you expect from us

  • Where contact details are provided we will acknowledge all feedback and complaints within 2 business days.
  • We aim to resolve most issues within 5 business days
  •  Local Council Election Complaints regarding alleged breaches of the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 may take up to 2 weeks to resolve.
  • The investigation of complaints of a legal nature or where there is the likelihood of prosecution action, may extend the resolution for some months.
  • We will treat all matters in a fair, unbiased and objective manner. You will not be adversely affected if you make a complaint.
  • Any personal information provided in the course of managing feedback, compliments or complaints will be managed in accordance with relevant legal and policy requirements. 
  • We will be clear about how a complaint has been resolved. Where a complaint remains unresolved or cannot be resolved satisfactorily, we will provide information about how our handling of a complaint can be reviewed or appealed.

Confidential treatment of complaints

The Electoral Commissioner treats complaints confidentially, and does not identify the complainant to the alleged offender. In rare circumstances, the Electoral Commissioner may disclose the identities involved to both parties. Such circumstances typically occur where there exists a likelihood of conflicting evidence relied upon; or where one or more of the parties involved, publicise the matter.

Where the parties involved in a complaint have publicised the matter, the Electoral Commissioner may confirm the existence of a complaint with the media, but will not discuss the details of the complaint.

The Electoral Commissioner may make public comments (such as to the media) following a successful prosecution or Court of Disputed Returns, in order to ensure electors are aware of a situation and or have accurate information.

Still not satisfied?

If the matter is still not resolved to your satisfaction then you can contact Ombudsman SA.

The Ombudsman is available to assist people who have complaints against the administrative actions of Government of South Australia departments or agencies, and can be contacted via the Ombudsman SA website or by phoning 08 8226 8699 or 1800 182 150 (country SA toll free).

Please be aware that if you have not attempted to resolve the issue with us, then the Ombudsman may request that you do so before it formally records and/or investigates your complaint.

Note: Matters concerning the conduct and practice of public officers and public authorities in South Australian public administration, specifically corruption, misconduct and maladministration, can be reported via the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC).


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