A new Miro system has been introduced in NSW and Victoria and some voting rights advocates are unhappy with it.
The NSW government has unveiled a new ballot system in which voters have to write their candidate preferences on a piece of paper, and have a choice between three choices, but the voting system is so poorly designed it’s almost impossible to know which of those three choices will actually win the seat.
While this is a minor concern for many who are concerned about ballot fraud, for others the lack of certainty can be fatal.
“It’s not going to be a simple system, it’s not perfect, but it’s going to make it easier to get to the ballot box,” NSW MP Rob Stokes told ABC News.
He said while it would be difficult to know whether the Muro system would work in a “perfect world”, he hoped the public would be more open to voting by machine in future elections.
Victoria introduced the first-ever Miro ballot system on February 25, 2017, and it has now been rolled out in every state and territory.
It is a paper ballot, which voters put on a paper slip before casting their vote, with a small piece of cardboard inserted to make sure voters know which choices they are voting on.
As soon as the paper is sealed, the ballot paper is sent to the polling booth, where it is read by a poll worker.
Afterwards, the voters’ choice of which ballot paper they want is tallied and compared to a list of ballot choices submitted to the voting booth.
When voters cast their ballot, the machine then counts the number of choices they have voted on.
The machine then displays the results and the person who voted on top of that, based on that number, wins.
Voters are allowed to cast a second ballot after their first one has been counted.
Under the new Muro voting system, voters will also have to take a picture of their ballot paper with their mobile phone, or with a digital scanner.
That means voters will have to wait in line to vote if they want to vote by hand.
But for some, the lack in certainty and the high cost of a paper-based voting system can be a problem.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Electoral Commission told ABC Radio Melbourne that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) did not have enough information to predict how much paper would be needed in each state and territories to ensure an accurate count of votes.
She said the ABS had no idea how many ballots would be required, or how many voters would have to travel to the polls to cast their vote.
Ms Miro said the new voting system would be rolled out to all polling booths, and the ABS would continue to provide data on how many votes were cast.
In Victoria, the new system has already been rolled back.
Since the new state-wide voting system was introduced, there has been a major decrease in the number and size of the polling booths.
Victorians have complained about a lack of information about how the system works, and there has also been a spike in ballot-related problems.
This is because ballot papers have been removed from polling booths and handed to staff to count and then hand back to voters.
More than 30,000 ballot papers were found to be missing, according to the Victorian Public Service Association.
At a meeting on February 29, Victorian Deputy Premier Daniel Andrews said he would not introduce new legislation to improve the ballot system.
Mr Andrews said: “The public have been in favour of this system for years.
We are not changing the system because we don’t think it’s working.”