Electoral Regulation Research Network Biennial
Voting Inclusion, Electoral Integrity and the Challenges of the Twenty First Century: The Electoral Regulation Research Network Biennial held at The University of Adelaide 14 & 15 November 2019
The Electoral Regulation Research Network was established in 2012 with the aim of fostering exchange and discussion and facilitating research collaboration amongst academics, electoral commissions and other interested groups on research relating to electoral regulation. The Network aims to provide regular forums for policy and scholarly discussion. One such forum is the regular Biennial which was this year hosted by the Adelaide node of the ERRN at the University of Adelaide by Professor Lisa Hill, and Dr Jonathon Louth (Uni SA).
The biennial brought together over 75 leading academics and practitioners in electoral law and politics. Participants included Federal and State Electoral Commissioners from every Australian state and territory; the Electoral Commissioner of New Zealand; and Chief Electoral Officers from the states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan, India, many of whom took part in a Roundtable Sharing Session. Papers were also given by Antony Green (ABC) and key academics in the field of Electoral Studies such as Scientia Professor George Williams AO FASSA (UNSW), Professor Lisa Hill and Professor Marian Sawer AO FASSA (ANU). The conference reported on electoral research being conducted here at the University of Adelaide, Uni SA and Flinders University as well as University of Queensland, University of Western Australia, University of New South Wales, Australian National University, Monash University, and the University of Toronto.
The theme of this year’s Biennial was Voting Inclusion, Electoral Integrity and the Challenges of the Twenty First Century. The opening session focused on the issues of Trust in Australian Democracy, with Federal Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers reporting on the 2019 Federal Election. Over the two days, the workshop heard papers on issues of inclusion for indigenous populations, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and other minority groups. The unique challenges of the digitally and economically complex twenty-first century were at the heart of the questions and discussions throughout the two days
A particular highlight of the was the launch of the Australian Electoral Law Library with special thanks due to Paul Kildea and Philip Chung (University of NSW) for the launching of and virtual tour of the online interface (https://www.austlii.edu.au/).
An informal reception to welcome all participants was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Rathjen.
The concluding session included a report of the pilot study “Voting and Homelessness in South Australia” which is being conducted here at the University of Adelaide by Professor Lisa Hill, Veronica Coram and Jonathan Louth (at Uni SA) in partnership with the South Australian Office of the Australian Electoral Commission.