Victorian Electoral Commission
Although it is an independent agency, established under Victoria's Electoral Act 2002, the Commission falls under the umbrella of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Commission head office is located on level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne, although during the state election there may be as many as sixty offices established around Victoria.
The Commission is subject to oversight by the Victorian Parliament's Electoral Matters Committee which regularly holds inquiries into the conduct of public elections and associated matters in Victoria. The Committee was established under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003 and has members from both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. In the 57th Parliament of Victoria, its members were appointed in the sitting week commencing Tuesday 8 February 2011.
The primary function of the VEC is to conduct Victorian state elections, the last of which was the 2014 state election, which was held on Saturday, 29 November 2014. Prior to 2006, Victorian parliamentary elections could be held any time at the discretion of the government in the last year of their four-year term of office. This has meant that, in practice, the average period between elections had been somewhat less than the maximum four years. From 2006 the Victorian Parliament has fixed terms with the election being held every fourth year on the last Saturday in November. The next Victorian state election is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 24 November 2018.
Municipal, or local government, elections are also conducted by the VEC in Victoria. Previously there was a system of competitive tendering between the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the VEC, but the AEC withdrew. The VEC still submits tenders to each council to run the municipal elections. The most recent batch of municipal elections were held in October 2012.
Private organisations may hire the VEC to conduct elections for them. These may include board elections.
Liquor licensing polls
In some municipalities (e.g. City of Whitehorse, City of Boroondara) there are areas which require approval of residents for a liquor licence to be granted. In such circumstances the VEC conducts these polls.
The VEC has its own Electoral Enrolment Branch which is responsible for maintaining the State Electoral Roll. Unlike all other states (with the exception of Western Australia), the VEC maintains its own roll rather than depending on the Commonwealth roll which is maintained by the AEC. The VEC still receives updates from the AEC to ensure that the Commonwealth and Victorian rolls mirror each other.
The VEC conducts several promotional programs to ensure that electors update their information when their enrolment details change.
The VEC assists the Electoral Boundaries Commission in redistributing state electoral boundaries from time to time. It also performs similar tasks in relation to local government.
- Electoral systems of the Australian states and territories
- Parliaments of the Australian states and territories
- Politics of Victoria