UW-Madison political scientist chosen to observe Australian elections

by Dennis Chaptman, UW-Madison Communications

Kenneth Mayer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist, will travel to Australia as part of an international delegation observing that nation’s federal elections on Saturday, Nov. 24.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this program as one of only two academic members of the international delegation,” says Mayer. “It is an extraordinary opportunity to establish contacts with elections officials from around the world.”

The delegation includes representatives of 19 nations, including fledgling democracies such as Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, India and South Africa.

The program is designed to encourage good government, share electoral knowledge, enhance networking and promote the exchange of ideas.

The Australian Electoral Commission invited Mayer, an expert in election administration, to observe the elections as part of the Election Visitor Program.

The four-day program is based in Canberra and includes briefings on the Australian electoral system, the structure of the commission and an opportunity to observe pre-election, polling and ballot counting after the polls close.

In 2006, Mayer was named to a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he conducted collaborative research on campaign finance and executive power.