Message from the Electoral Commissioner

Warwick Gately, the Electoral Commissioner of Victoria

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) found itself responding to rapidly changing external circumstances during 2021–22, the most significant of these being the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With our focus remaining on staff wellbeing, we provided a variety of flexible work options, wellness programs, and resources to assist staff with their responsibilities and obligations. Our resilient and agile workforce successfully conducted 21 electoral activities over the year, including the South Gippsland Shire Council general election, which realised a strong voter turnout of 81.51%.

The pandemic and labour shortages also added complexity to our preparations for the upcoming November 2022 State election. Despite this, at the end of June, many State election projects were complete or in their final stages. These projects included funding and disclosure system enhancements, improvements to the VEC website and the roll look-up program.

In addition to our core business of elections, 2021–22 realised several significant milestones, including supporting the Electoral Boundaries Commission in its redivision of state electoral boundaries (completed in October 2021). We also deployed a redevelopment of the Election Management System, launched an online research panel and implemented both an Out-of-Home Action Plan and a Young People Inclusion Plan.

With the retirement and departure of several long-serving VEC staff members during the year, we welcomed new recruits, including Deputy Electoral Commissioner Dana Fleming, Chief Information Officer Chris Pivec and Director, Elections Ben Sutherland – all have brought energy, imagination, and enthusiasm to their roles.

This edition of Selections features highlights from the VEC Annual Report 2021–22 and includes an overview of our activities in the areas of enrolment, funding and disclosure, and inclusion and participation. Summaries of local government electoral activity, delivery against our Strategy 2023 and progress towards the 2022 State election in November are also included.