Australia: The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) will implement RollMap solution, a web-based mapping service next year allowing its staff to better identify and locate Australians on the electoral role. The solution, developed by PSMA Australia, will enable the commission’s 150 individual electoral offices to easily identify individual registrants and determine any potential anomalies without requiring internal geospatial expertise.
A “geocode” or coordinate will ultimately be given to each elector down to the roof of their place of living to ensure the commission has up to date information on each registered voter. A mobile version is also planned with a precaching capability in situations where fieldworkers are unable to use satellite imagery to determine and rectify anomalies.
The solution is based on a number of datasets already in the AEC’s possession, as well as those licensed from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO) and a high resolution imagery dataset delivered under a whole-of-government contract to the Department of Climate Change under tender in 2009. The AEC’s solution has been in development for roughly a year, but the commission still needs to rectify approximately 800,000 anomalies before full implementation is made in the early portion of 2011.
While the AEC has traditionally based its electoral location and boundary data solely on the ABS’ datasets, this become arduous and error-prone as population grew. Speaking the [email protected] conference in Canberra, the AEC’s geospatial advisor, Paul Slater, said that the commission had now “come full circle” to when the electoral roll was first established during the beginning of the 20th century.
“With 1.4 million Australians not on the electoral roll earlier this year, we need to do every single thing we can to get bureaucracy and red tape out of the way,” GetUp! national director, Simon Sheikh, told the ABC at the time. “We know that we pay our taxes online, that we do our banking online and we should be able to enrol to vote online.”