people, technology, and change

Election vote-counting system implementation

ntec-easycount-projectNorthern Territory Electoral Commission

Overview: Project manage the implementation of a new vote counting software application for the NT Electoral Commission and roll-out across the NT, against very tight timeframes.

The Challenge: The Northern Territory Electoral Commission has a range of responsibilities including the conduct of elections, promotion of public awareness of electoral matters, conduct of electoral research, and administration of party and candidate registration. In 2008, the Northern Territory underwent significant changes to its Electoral Act, including significant changes to Shires and Municipal Councils. In preparation for the new Shire elections, the NT Electoral Commission required a new ‘vote-counting’ software application that would meet the revised legislative and operational changes.

The project had a very tight timeframe, with the new system needing to be implemented prior to impending shire elections across the whole of the Northern Territory.

Cathryn was appointed as Project Manager in August 2008, with implementation into production required by October. The chosen system is a product called “EasyCount” which is distributed by the Australian Electoral Commission. The system needed to be deployed at multiple locations across the Territory, and in a variety of configurations eg server-based implementation using a central database for urban and regional areas, and standalone implementations for remote areas, with ability to upload to the central database.

The project involved complex coordination with other service providers involved in the rollout, eg WAN services provider, hosting services provider, desktop  services provider, remote site staff and so on, as well as liaison with staff from the NT Electoral Commission and the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Outcome: The system was successfully implemented into production ahead of schedule, and well under the projected budget, and also delivered significantly reduced ongoing support costs for the Commission