Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce

Protecting the integrity of Australia’s electoral processes is critical to maintaining public trust in Australia's democratic processes.

In the context of the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce (the Taskforce), references to electoral integrity relate to the assistance provided by Taskforce agencies that help give assurance to the Australian Electoral Commissioner that a federal electoral event, which includes elections, by-elections and referendums, is unaffected by interference. For the purposes of the Taskforce, interference is characterised as an action intended to affect or disrupt electoral processes or outcomes.

The Taskforce is not involved in the delivery of electoral events, and does not have any role in other elements of electoral integrity such as electoral processes, policies, procedures or administrative or regulatory decisions.

Potential threats to electoral integrity can come in the form of cyber or physical security incidents, misinformation or disinformation campaigns, and through perceived or actual interference in electoral processes.

Public trust in the integrity of an electoral event can be undermined by the realisation or perceived realisation of such threats. The Taskforce ensures that information about these threats is efficiently referred to the relevant agencies, facilitates cooperation and coordination between these agencies, and enables them to work together to take any appropriate action.

Electoral and referendum laws require electoral and referendum communications to be authorised. The key objective of the authorisation requirements is to allow voters to know who is communicating about an electoral matter.

Each federal electoral event, the AEC runs an advertising campaign branded ‘Stop and Consider’, encouraging voters to check the source of the material they see or hear.

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (the Scheme)  provides visibility of the nature, level and extent of foreign influence in Australia’s political and governmental processes. It does this by requiring any person or entity that undertakes registrable activities in Australia for the purpose of influencing a political or governmental process or decision on behalf of a foreign principal to disclose these details on the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Public Register.

Broadly speaking, any person is required to register if:

  • they undertake registrable activities or enter into a registrable arrangement, and
  • the activity is, or will be undertaken in Australia on behalf of a foreign principal, and
  • the activity is undertaken for the purpose of political or governmental influence, and
  • no exemptions apply.

The Scheme applies to federal electoral events, including registrable activities undertaken in Australia on behalf of a foreign principal for the purpose of influencing voters in Australian elections and referendums. This includes communications activities: the public communication or distribution of information, or the production of such information for the purpose of it being publicly communicated or distributed by a third party (such as by a media outlet or social media platform).  

The Scheme imposes additional registrant obligations during voting periods. During federal elections, activities must be registered within seven days.

Media releases

Updated: 28 November 2023

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