The Western Australian Electoral Commission was established as a department of the Government of Western Australia in 1987. The Commission replaced the State Electoral Department, which was established in 1904. The Commission’s main functions are to maintain the State Electoral Roll, conduct state-based elections, and promote community awareness of the electoral process.
Accessibility Voting Centres
The WA Electoral Act provides assistance to eligible electors who are unable to vote without assistance because of insufficient literacy skills, sight impairment or those living with an incapacity.
In the 2021 State Elections, the WAEC established a network of Accessibility Voting Centres across the state. These venues were easily accessible to those with disabilities and were equipped with a range of assistive devices for use by electors who may require them, including the ReaderPen, Electric Magnifier Screen and Audio Loop or Hearing Amplifier.
It is estimated that up to 20% of eligible voters have reading difficulties, while other voters have a low reading level or do not understand English. The ReaderPen converts text to speech and reads out information on the ballot paper to the user. The ReaderPen will verbalise any text the pen is moved over.