Elections in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mr Tom Rogers and Mr Paul Erickson

Electoral Regulation Research Network recorded seminar

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Elections in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Eden-Monaro by-election


Tom Rogers, Australian Electoral Commissioner
Paul Erickson, National Secretary, Australian Labor Party

Joo-Cheong Tham, Director, Electoral Regulation Research Network

About the Talk

The COVID-19 pandemic poses novel and complex challenges for the holding of elections. How can free and fair elections be held in this context? What implications does the pandemic have for voting, campaigning and electoral management?

This seminar takes up these questions by reflecting upon the experience of 4 July Eden-Monaro by-election, the first federal election held in the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event was co-hosted by the Electoral Regulation Research Network and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales.

The Speakers

Tom Rogers graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) Duntroon in 1983 and served in the Australian Defence Force Academy, Senior Instructor in Leadership at RMC Duntroon, and Commander of a United Nations observer mission. After he left the Australian Army in 2000, Tom worked for Raytheon Australia, as a senior project manager and led the team that delivered the Sydney Olympics’ major preparedness and readiness activity.

Tom was the Director of Programs and then Executive Director at the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM), which is administered by the Australian Federal Police to deliver highly respected executive development programs for leaders and future leaders of Australasian police and other public safety organisations.

Tom was appointed the Australian Electoral Commissioner in 2014, having previously filled roles as the Deputy Electoral Commissioner and the Australian Electoral Commission’s state manager (and Australian Electoral Officer) for NSW.

Paul Erickson is the National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party. From 2014 to 2019 Paul was one of Labor’s Assistant National Secretaries, and headed up Labor’s target seats unit. Prior to joining the National Secretariat, Paul worked in policy and campaign roles in the union movement and state government.