It happens once every three years, where all Australian’s head to the polling booths to cast their votes. For most of us, it is just any other day but for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) this day has been months in the making.
In prior years, the AEC have chosen to work with a number of logistics organisations in each state, to assist them with the delivery and collection of Electoral polling booths, pencils and ballot papers. For the 2019 Election the AEC chose to engage a national logistics partner to assist them in the lead up, on the day and post-Election for the first time.
After winning the contract to be the national partner, a core team of 44 Toll employees worked closely with the AEC to ensure that over 7,000+ polling centres were set up and ready to go when the polls opened.
Once the polls closed, all ballots were collected and returned to AEC Hubs and Outposted Centres (OPCs) for counting. The week post-election an additional 1,032 pallets of Senate papers were delivered to Fuji Xerox for Data Capture and Vote counting.
The below fast facts put into perspective the magnitude of the operation:
- 21,000+ hours were dedicated during the Election period
- 1.5 million kilograms of carboard was delivered and collected from 8,800 locations
- 52 million ballot papers moved across Australia using a Dedicated Charter Network
- On election night 860 Runs and 51 Charter Aircraft took place
- 100+ trucks dedicated to the project for two weeks
What was 12 months of collaborative planning for a 10-week Election period, the AEC alongside Toll, planned a seamless execution of the campaign. The intense planning was to ensure no vote was missed, and it is safe to say the campaign went without a hitch.
“That level of support and agility really impressed me and is reflective of what we were seeking in our partnership with Toll. I realise the significant mass of the task at hand for a federal election and without Toll’s capacity and willingness to dig in and complete the tasks we would be in a much more difficult position” said Mr Andrew Gately, AEC National Election Manager.
Executive General Manager Alan Beacham said that a dedicated Toll team were engaged to partner with state AEC personnel to ensure everything went to plan.
“This has been months of planning and effort by Toll team to ensure that smooth and timely delivery of ballots to and from polling locations. Our network from trucks, vans and even chartered planes were in play to ensure that ballots were securely and quickly delivered back to central hubs for counting.”
As part of our partnership with the AEC, we also provided logistics support in donating stationary equipment to Indigenous health and community organisations free of charge.
Toll Global Express Executive General Manager - Sales & Marketing, Anthony Stuart said “As part of our partnership with the AEC, we were happy to give our support and assist in getting these products out to local community groups.”
The Electoral Commissioner, Mr Tom Rogers, said that running a manual event so large in scale provided a responsibility to ensure resources that could be re-used did not go to waste.
“We’re in the very fortunate position of being able to provide first-aid kits from our 7,000+ polling premises and a high volume of different stationery equipment to people in need,” Mr Rogers said.
“At the AEC we are especially mindful of our footprint, as well as some of the challenges that Indigenous Australians face to access resources that others might take for granted.”
“It is terrific to have this opportunity to help in a small way.” Mr Rogers said.