Message from the Electoral Commissioner

Warwick Gately, the Electoral Commissioner of VictoriaThis 2020 edition of Selections showcases highlights from the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC’s) 2019–20 Annual Report.

While many of our activities in the second half of the financial year were affected by the challenges of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our staff showed great resilience and flexibility in adapting to remote working and continuing our business. I also acknowledge the voters of Victoria, our stakeholders and commercial partners, whose support was invaluable during this time.

In July 2019, our focus was on preparing for the 2020 local council elections, culminating in the publication of our election service plan in December 2019. The service plan anticipated a blend of postal and in-person elections but, by early 2020, under a State of Emergency, the future of the elections was unknown. Despite the uncertainty, we continued our work towards the elections and, when it was announced on Friday 15 May that the elections would proceed by post only, we were completely prepared to deliver the election program for 76 local councils.

The creativity and commitment of our people meant we were able to achieve significant milestones in 2019–20. This newsletter provides an overview of our achievements, including our responses to the legislative changes of the Local Government Act 2020, preparations to conduct 298 concurrent elections in a coronavirus (COVID-19) environment, our significant education and outreach activities, and delivering on our corporate Strategy 2023.

The next 12 months will require us to stay alert and agile, as our external environment remains dynamic and unpredictable. We must develop a new workforce model that not only includes working from home as part of our business as usual, but prioritises the development, success and wellbeing of our staff.