The NSW Electoral Commission’s Automatic Enrolment Project
If you have received a SmartRoll communication via SMS, email or letter, you can update your details on our Self-Service site:
If you have received a SmartRoll letter stating 'You are now Enrolled in NSW' and you wish to check your enrolment, please go to our SmartRoll Enrolment Verification Facility.
Why have I been SmartRolled?
Over recent election cycles, electoral jurisdictions around Australia have realised that there are a significant number of eligible voters who are not included on the current Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Register (or Roll) for NSW or not included at their current address.
The SmartRoll project, established by the NSWEC in 2009, is intended to address this problem by delivering NSW a more up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive roll for upcoming elections than that supplied through current enrolment techniques.
In late 2009 the NSW Government introduced legislation via the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Amendment (Automatic Enrolment) Act 2009 , that provided the legal basis for the introduction of SmartRoll procedures in NSW.
To quote from the NSWEC’s 11 November 2009 press release:
“Like every other jurisdiction in Australia, the NSWEC must administer a system of compulsory enrolment and voting. Current electoral legislation allows the NSWEC to access NSW agency information in order to identify electors who may not be enrolled or enrolled for the address where they now live. The current practice of writing to these people and requesting they complete another form to change their enrolment is not working.”
Of those eligible people not enrolled, the group of most concern to all electoral commissions is those aged from 17 to 24 years old. National figures show that about 120,000 eligible young people live in NSW but are not enrolled. Electoral demographers are increasingly seeing that this group of people tend to never enrol and of greater concern is that the younger cohort is even less inclined to enrol.
How does SmartRoll work?
SmartRoll Processes - Enrolment Details Need to be Changed
It has been estimated that over 500,000 electors change their address each year. The SmartRoll project has recognized that the average mover's priority for changing their enrolment address details is not as high as, for example, changing their address details with institutions such as the NSW Roads and Maritime Services, energy utilities, banks etc.
SmartRoll processes will ensure that:
“NSW electors will be the first in Australia to enjoy the benefits and convenience of a simplified and smarter enrolment system. It will minimise the need to complete and lodge enrolment forms by proposing that electors, who have changed their address details and notified a NSW agency of that change, are enrolled at their new address. The elector will be given the opportunity to object to that proposed enrolment but, if there is no objection, it is proposed that the elector is then notified of their formal enrolment.”
In other words the process is an 'opt-out' system which has been designed to allow those potentially eligible people to disagree with an automatic enrolment if the information received from other agencies is not correct. If there is no disagreement received after the legislated minimum elapsed time of 7 days, the eligible elector is notified that they are enrolled at their notified address.
SmartRoll will send at least two communications to potential electors.
Initial (SMS, email or letter) - initial notification that information has been received, that it is the intention of the NSWEC to enrol the person at the new location and notifying the time frame to contact the NSWEC to make changes to the proposed enrolment or indicate disagreement with the enrolment completely.
- Access to the NSWEC will be via the phone (1300 617 133) or through a self-service facility where access is controlled by a unique 'token' included in the initial communication.
Confirmation of Enrolment (letter) - if, after a minimum of 7 days, no response has been received that indicates a disagreement with the automatic enrolment, the person is notified of their NSW enrolment.
- The Confirmation letter will also contain Federal enrolment information and a Federal/NSW enrolment form.
SmartRoll Processes - Being Enrolled for the First Time
The NSWEC and its enrolment partner, the AEC, are concerned that a significant number of Australians are not enrolled to vote. In 2009 it was believed that over 1.2 million eligible people were 'missing' from the national electoral roll.
To quote from the NSWEC’s November 2009 press release
“For younger people in NSW, the enrolment reforms propose that information from various educational institutions will be used to encourage 17 year olds to provisionally enrol, as is the case now, and those who are actually 18, to enrol to vote. Modern communications methods including SMS and email will be used to allow a simple enrolment using the same principle as that applying to those eligible electors who notify a NSW agency of a change of address.
As an example, of the approximately 67,000 17-18 year olds who are registered with the NSW Office of the Board of Studies and complete the HSC, only 50% enrol.
By all measures this percentage needs to improve and we are keen to assist in that enrolment process.
If you have been enrolled and you have some questions please go to Automatic Enrolment as a New Elector.
Voting for the first time? - Take a look at our voting for the first time guide to find out what you have to do when you vote for the first time.
SmartRoll Processes - You have been Re-enrolled
Previous enrolment processes relied on letters and forms. As a result it was not uncommon for electors to be removed from the roll due to the elector failing to respond within established timeframes to a number of letters.
Over a period of time SmartRoll will begin to re-enrol these electors at their current addresses. It is not expected that this will occur in large numbers prior to the State Election 2011.
SmartRoll Processes - If you think you should be a Special Category Elector
Information regarding the special categories for which electors can be enrolled is available on this website.
If the notified person (the SmartRollee) disagrees with the automatic enrolment details following receipt of the Confirmation of Enrolment letter, they can call 1300 617 133 and discuss the enrolment changes with the operator, who will notify the caller of their enrolment options at that time.
If your enrolment has been changed, and you have some questions, please go to Automatic Changes to your Enrolment Details.