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Parliamentary inquiry into full voter turnout

Almost 800,000 people in NSW did not see their vote count in the 2023 NSW election.


The NSW Government has asked Parliament to conduct an inquiry into potential reforms to support the target of 100 per cent participation in NSW elections in future.


The bipartisan Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has been asked to report on electoral laws and practices that would support the following targets:

  • 100% enrolment

  • 100% turnout

  • 100% formal voting

  • 100% voter confidence


Special Minister of State John Graham has asked the committee to consider potential reforms that would strengthen the integrity and confidence in the electoral system.


The “democratic gap” of people who are entitled to vote but whose vote did not count totalled 791,759 people at the March 2023 NSW election.


This is made up of 74,677 people who are eligible but not enrolled, 553,646 who are enrolled but did not cast a vote, and 163,436 people who cast an informal vote.


Special Minister of State John Graham said:


“Every vote is precious, and it is both alarming and disappointing that almost 800,000 votes did not count at last year’s NSW election. Closing this democratic gap is important for the future of our electoral system.


“Unless we tackle this problem, our political system will be less representative and less responsive than it should be.


“The NSW Government makes no apologies for setting the most ambitious targets of 100 per cent voter enrolment, 100 per cent turnout to vote and 100 per cent votes being cast formally.


“NSW elections must be inclusive, accessible and secure, and if we need to make reforms to the process to ensure that remains the case, that’s exactly what we will do.


“Maintaining voter confidence is paramount to a robust democracy. Unfortunately, public confidence can be eroded due to real or perceived weaknesses in the system – and that’s what those behind misinformation and disinformation campaigns seek to exploit.


“Findings and recommendations will be considered well ahead of the 2027 NSW election.”  


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