How can our system of preferential voting be changed?
Sample House of Representatives ballot paper.
Australian Electoral Commission
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Hi Barry. Thanks for your question.
Changes to our voting system can be made by changing the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. A bill – a proposal to change or make a new law – would need to be agreed to by a majority vote in the Senate and House of Representatives and given Royal Assent by the Governor-General.
There have been a number of changes to our electoral system since Federation. These include the introduction of compulsory voting, lowering the voting age and changes to the way voting is conducted for the Senate and House of Representatives.
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and the Australian Constitution set out the requirements for running federal elections. Elections are organised and run by the Australian Electoral Commission who make sure elections are free, fair and legal.