The scrutiny of declaration votes (pre-poll, postal, absent and provisional) was conducted in two stages:
A postal vote was accepted for further scrutiny if the DRO was satisfied that:
The AEC was required by law to wait 13 days after polling day to receive postal votes before counting could be finalised. This ensured that electors in remote areas and overseas were not disenfranchised.
A pre-poll, absent or provisional vote was accepted for further scrutiny if the DRO was satisfied that:
Once a postal, pre-poll, absent or provisional vote was admitted to the further scrutiny the envelope was opened and the ballot paper was treated in the same way as ordinary ballot papers. The further scrutiny began on the Monday after polling day.
After the referendum, all the certified lists of electors were electronically scanned to identify apparent non-voters and possible multiple voting.
The scanners identified from the certified lists:
Two reports were produced from the scanning results:
Following identification, DROs wrote to all of these electors seeking details as to why they did not vote or why more than one mark appeared against their name on the certified list.
At the 1999 referendum the scanning of certified lists to detect apparent non voters and multiple marks commenced within two days of polling. Lists were scanned at the AEC's permanent scanning centres in Sydney (NSW, ACT lists) and Brisbane (QLD, NT lists) and at temporary centres in Melbourne (VIC, TAS lists), Adelaide (SA lists) and Perth (WAlists).
The scanning of approximately 30 000 ordinary lists used in polling places nationally was completed within eight working days after the referendum. The scanning of special lists covering absent, pre-poll and provisional voters was completed during the third week after polling following the cut off date for the receipt of postal votes.