Research Report 9 - Pilot Project on Informality in Port Adelaide: III Methodology

Updated: 30 May 2013

III Methodology – Pilot Project in Port Adelaide

In 2004 the AEC undertook a pilot project in Port Adelaide, a division with traditionally high levels of informal voting (6.86 in 2001) and high levels of electors from non-English speaking backgrounds. This project mailed instructional letters in English, Italian, Greek and Vietnamese [6] to 7 832 households. The mail-out was designed to target electors from four identified polling places: Pennington, Woodville Gardens, Findon North and Allenby Gardens.

At the conclusion of each election, the AEC Divisional Offices scan the voter list from each polling place and identify electors who have not voted. Consequently, the AEC also can identify which electors have voted, which polling place they attended and to which Census Collection District (CCD) [7] they are domiciled. It should be noted that while this process determines where an elector voted, there is no way to determine how an individual voted.

From this data the AEC allocates the CCD to a polling place based on the polling place where the majority of voters from an individual CCD voted. These areas are named Polling Place Catchment Areas. Unlike many other countries, Australia does not have precinct voting and individuals can cast an ordinary vote at any polling place in their Division. Appendix D identifies each polling place in Port Adelaide and the percentage of electors attending who were sent a letter.

Allenby Gardens, Findon North, Pennington and Woodville Gardens were targeted polling places with high levels of electors from non-English speaking backgrounds. (See Appendix C for full list of polling places). Since electors within a Division may go to any polling place to vote, it was also important to examine where the electors who received letters ultimately voted. In fact, whilst the letter recipients voted at all polling places in Port Adelaide, the majority voted in the polling place from which they were targeted.

Furthermore, over 30 percent of the electors who voted at Ferryden Park had received a letter from the AEC, so that polling place was also analysed.

  1. These languages were chosen as they represented a high percentage of Non English Background electors in Port Adelaide (Greek 3.5%, Italian 5.6% and Vietnamese 3.7%)
  2. The census Collection District (CD), also known as CCDs (Census Collection Districts), is the smallest geographic area defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). They are the used for the aggregation of statistics to larger census geographic areas. CDs are defined for each census. Where necessary, CDs are created or boundaries adjusted to conform with changes to LGA boundaries.