Electronic voting comes to parliament

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)


Members of parliament will be able to vote on motions and bills at the press of a button or swish of a card under a new electronic voting system to start in 2019.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne said the system, which would only cover the House of Representatives, would cut the time required for each vote and provide quick access online to the results of each vote.

A 2016 committee report called for such a system to be put in place.

It is understood under the new system members will still be required to vote in the chamber and “tellers” will still be appointed to play a role in the process.

However, whether MPs vote from their seat in the chamber, or with a separation as occurs now, won’t be known until consultation and the tender process is concluded.

The committee report recommended members still divide right and left of the Speaker’s chair and tellers still be available to do a manual count in case the system malfunctions.

Electronic voting was first discussed 48 years ago when MPs were considering a new Parliament House.

Labor has been briefed on the proposal.

The Department of Parliamentary Services will shortly call for tenders for the project.


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