The Australian Electoral Commission Reviews The Security Of The Electoral Systems.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Australia - Cybersecurity

21 December, 2017


The Australian Electoral Commission (“AEC”) is in the process of undertaking a holistic security review of the electoral systems that are responsible for delivering the next federal election in either 2018 or 2019. The security review aims to identify any vulnerabilities in the systems and provide recommendations on how they can be addressed. Among other reasons, this was prompted by the need to protect the Australian electoral system against cyber security threats, particularly in light of the speculation of foreign cyber-attacks on the US elections.


In June 2017, a parliamentary committee found that without the allocation of additional funds for an IT overhaul, the AEC’s ageing IT systems risked compromising the integrity of Australia’s federal voting system. The AEC’s current election and enrolment management systems were first introduced in the early 1990s. The AEC had previously told the parliamentary committee that its core election management system and roll management system election processing were at the end of their useful life. A significant part of its current funding is spent on keeping its IT systems operational and secure. As a result, the review may result in the need for either significant upgrades or a replacement of the AEC’s core systems. 


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For further information, please contact:


William Hallatt, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills