LS5881 Released Document No. 10
JSCEM HEARING BRIEF – Back Pocket
Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters
Hearing – 13 November 2014
SUBJECT: DIVERGENCE OF THE ELECTORAL
ISSUE 1: What is divergence?
Divergence occurs where an elector has an enrolment on either the
federal or state/territory roll; and no enrolment, or an enrolment at a
different address on another roll.
Divergence, particularly where enrolments are for different addresses, or
where they are eligible, but are not enrolled for a particular jurisdiction, can
cause considerable confusion for affected electors with regard to their
enrolment status for forthcoming electoral events.
ISSUE 2: What causes divergence?
Divergence is caused when there is either a difference in legislation or a
difference in practice between the commonwealth and a state/territory.
The differences in legislation can be confined to small groups, or affect the
population more generally.
The largest cause of divergence is the parallel running of direct enrolment
programs, run by the Commonwealth, NSW and Vic. Legislatively, the
Commonwealth cannot recognise the NSW and Victorian programs, while
WA legislatively cannot recognise the commonwealth processes.
The next most common reason for divergence is current and previous
requirements for witnessing of enrolments, particularly in Victoria and WA.
Other more minor causes of divergence include differing legislation for
prisoners, other territories (such as Norfolk Island), British Subjects and