Following the close of polls for the 2016 federal election, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers acknowledged that some voters experienced unusually long waits at polling places on election day. He apologised for any inconvenience caused to voters and thanked them for their forbearance.
The AEC notes that, while peak periods for voting occur each election day, a number of factors appear to have contributed to some particularly long wait times. Notwithstanding the increase in early voting rates, around 10 million Australians attended 7 000 polling places around the country to have their say.
The AEC is aware of some speculation around the level of staffing at polling places for this federal election. This election saw the AEC allocate more staff in polling places than in past elections.
Mr Rogers said that, at this election, Australian voters experienced the most significant changes to voting in 30 years. This, in combination with record nominations in some seats, appears to have resulted in voters taking greater care and more time to cast their vote.
It is also likely that the proximity of school holidays substantially increased the movement of voters around Australia, and resulted in high demand for interstate voting services.
Mr Rogers said the AEC will analyse all aspects of the 2016 federal election, including today's polling place activity, as part of its scheduled post-election review.