Appointing a scrutineer

Candidates can appoint scrutineers to observe election activities before, on, and after election day. Scrutineers can observe any part of election processes where election officials handle ballot materials. This is to make sure the election is being conducted in a fair, impartial and transparent manner.

Election activities include:

  • opening and checking sealed ballot boxes
  • counting ballot papers (including any rechecks or recounts)
  • manual preference distributions
  • data entry of ballot papers during computerised counts (including rechecks and recounts)
  • preliminary scrutiny of declaration votes (postal, early, mobile, absent, provisional and marked-as-voted votes)
  • telephone-assisted voting (TAV); however, scrutineers will not be able to identify any voter casting their vote by telephone.

Scrutineers can challenge an activity if they think we have made an error.

There are other activities that scrutineers can observe but not challenge. These include:

  • printing of ballot papers
  • assembly and dispatch of postal ballot packs
  • sorting and processing of early and postal votes
  • packing ballot papers for transportation
  • statistical counts for two-candidate-preferred and two-party-preferred purposes.

Scrutineer quotas

Where scrutineers are able to challenge, candidates and parties can appoint one scrutineer for each election official present who is handling ballot material related to their district or region, per venue.

For example, if there are 3 election officials at one voting centre issuing ballot papers, a candidate may appoint up to 3 scrutineers to that voting centre.

Appointing a scrutineer

Candidates must complete an 'Appointment of scrutineer' form for each scrutineer. This form is available in the Candidate kit. Candidate kits are available to download from the State election candidate resources page.

Scrutineer responsibilities

It is important that scrutineers are familiar with ballot paper formality rules before observing any counting activities.

Read the Scrutineer handbook before observing any election activities.

A determination on scrutineer activities was made on 9 September 2022. This sets out important information about what a scrutineer can and can’t observe, and the rules they must comply with, such as our COVIDSafe plan.

Scrutineer resources