Privacy at the Victorian Electoral Commission
This information refers to the collection and use of personal information by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).
The VEC collects personal information to fulfil its statutory functions under the Electoral Act 2002 (Electoral Act) and for administrative purposes.
When collecting personal information, the VEC will take reasonable steps to advise you what information is being sought, for what purpose, whether any law requires the collection of the information and the main consequences, if any, of not providing the information.
The VEC usually collects personal information directly from individuals. Personal information is also collected from third parties, but only if:
- the individual has consented to this collection, or would reasonably expect us to collect their personal information in this way, or
- it is collected for purposes that are directly related to our functions or activities under the Electoral Act or otherwise authorised by law.
The VEC has a 'joint roll' arrangement with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) (external link). The collection of personal information at the time of enrolment is justified partly by Commonwealth law and partly by Victorian law. To maintain the register of electors, the VEC and the AEC share information from electors and from third party sources. The use and disclosure of this information may differ between agencies because of differences in Victorian and Commonwealth laws.
Use and Disclosure
The VEC handles all personal information it receives in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
We will only disclose personal information about an individual to other Government agencies, private sector organisations or anyone else if one of the following applies:
- the individual has consented
- the individual would reasonably expect, or has been told, that information of that kind is usually passed to those individuals, bodies or agencies
- it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health
- it is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law, or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue
- it is otherwise required or authorised by law.
Under Section 33 of the Electoral Act the VEC must periodically provide enrolment information to political parties, members and candidates.
Information about whether you voted and how you voted is not made public. Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires the VEC to provide the following information, on request, to registered political parties and independent Members of Parliament:
- the names and addresses of electors who voted at a Parliamentary election (other than silent electors and itinerant electors)
- whether the electors voted personally or by post (if applicable) and
- the location of the voting centre at which electors voted (if they voted at a voting centre for the electoral district for which they were enrolled).
This information must only be used in connection with an election. Severe penalties apply for any misuse of this information.
The VEC provides enrolment information to councils under the Local Government Act 1989 and the City of Melbourne Act 2001, for the purpose of council elections.
Enrolment information is provided to the Juries Commissioner under the Juries Act 2000, so that people can be called for jury service.
Section 34 of the Electoral Act authorises the VEC to provide enrolment information to certain people and organisations under strict conditions. A list is provided at Privacy & enrolment information and in the Annual Report.
Data Quality and Security
The VEC takes all reasonable steps to ensure the information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date. We use a range of safeguards, together with access controls, secure methods of communication and back-up and disaster recovery systems to protect information from misuse, loss, and unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
Information held by the VEC is subject to the Public Records Act 1973 and is required to be disposed of under relevant retention and disposal authorities.
Access and Correction
You can correct or update your enrolment information online or by sending a completed enrolment form to the VEC.
Requests for access to and/or correction of documents containing personal information held by the VEC are handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and should be addressed to the FOI Officer, Victorian Electoral Commission, Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.
If you wish to make a complaint about the VEC in relation to privacy, you may write to the VEC or to the Victorian Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection (external link). If you are dissatisfied with the VEC's response, you can contact the Victorian Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection who may seek to conciliate the matter, or may suggest that it be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a hearing. The contact details for the VEC are:
Victorian Electoral Commission
Level 11, 530 Collins Street
Telephone: (03) 8620 1100
Facsimile: (03) 9629 9330
The contact details for the Victorian Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection are:
Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection
PO Box 24014
Telephone: 1300 666 444
Facsimile: 1300 666 445