Scrutineer handbook for the 2020 General Election

Role of scrutineers

Scrutineers for candidates and parties play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the electoral system. As a scrutineer you can observe the conduct of the parliamentary election, including the counting of votes, and provide assurance that everyone has followed the electoral rules and procedures.

The law for the referendum vote counts is different, meaning that it will be overseen by Justices of the Peace and not overseen by scrutineers. There will be no counts of referendum votes in voting places on election night.

COVID-19 and the 2020 General Election

This year’s election will be different because of COVID-19. There will be more voting places and voting will start earlier and to spread voting over a longer period and reduce congestion in voting places.

A range of health measures will be in place to help keep staff, voters, and scrutineers safe. We request that you do not enter a voting place if you:

  • Have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, sneezing/runny nose or loss of sense of smell)
  • Have COVID-19 or are awaiting results of a test for COVID-19
  • Have been in contact, in the past 14 days, with any known or suspected case of COVID-19 or with anyone returning from overseas.

Scrutineers must sanitise their hands, sign in and sit along one side of the voting place. You will be able to photograph the record of electorate, page and line numbers. There will be a limit on how many scrutineers can fit in a voting place, so we will work with parties and candidates to manage numbers.

These safety measures will be in force even if the COVID-19 Alert Level is lower by the time of the election. 

Key information for scrutineers in voting places

Allowed Not allowed
You may sit in the allocated scrutineer seats and observe voting. You must not be within 1 metre of voters or staff in the voting place.
You can photograph the record of page and line numbers of persons who have voted, which issuing officers will complete, and relay this to your campaign team. You must not touch any voting materials at any point.
You can wear a party lapel badge or rosette and clothing in party colours. You cannot wear or display any items with the candidate or party name or logo, other than the lapel badge/rosette.
You can raise your hand to ask an Issuing Officer to question a voter suspected of voting more than once or of voting as somebody else. You must not communicate with any voter in the voting place.
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