The Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC) is an independent government agency responsible for the impartial conduct of Northern Territory Legislative Assembly and local government (council) elections.
The Commission was established on 15 March 2004, following assent to the 2004 Electoral Act. Before this, electoral administration was carried out by the Northern Territory Electoral Office (NTEO), a unit of the Department of the Chief Minister.  The office was then headed by a Chief Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory.

Under the Act, the Commission assumed all responsibilities of the former NTEO.  It was also charged with new responsibilities, including the promotion of public awareness of electoral matters, the conduct of electoral research and the administration of party registration and financial disclosure by political parties, political entities, candidates and donors.

Following amendments to the Local Government Act and Local Government (Electoral) Regulations the NTEC became the service provider for the conduct of all local government (council) elections from 1 May 2012.

Purpose and functions

Our major function is to conduct elections for the Legislative Assembly and local government authorities. We also conduct government referendums and elections for a broad range of non-government clients.

Other functions include:
  • assistance with maintenance of electoral rolls
  • provision of information and advice on election matters to the Minister, Cabinet, political parties, candidates and Territory authorities
  • undertaking public awareness to educate and provide information to the public including school children on electoral matters
  • researching electoral matters
  • registration of political parties
  • administration of financial disclosure by political parties, candidates and related entities
  • assistance towards the redistribution of electoral boundaries.

Goal and key areas

Our goal is to provide high quality electoral services that are fair, impartial, effective, efficient and delivered in accordance with the law and accessible by the whole community.

We plan and implement strategies to meet our challenges and legislative obligations in four areas:
  1. Enrolment - Contributing to the maintenance and security of a joint roll of eligible Northern Territory electors.
  2. Elections - Conducting elections that are impartial, efficient, transparent and in accordance with the law.
  3. Public awareness - A community that is well informed about its electoral rights, responsibilities, processes, and available services.
  4. Corporate - An operating enviornment that features continuous improvement, is open and supportive of staff, promotes professional growth, mutal respect and recognition of achievements.


Since 2004, the chief executive officer of the NTEC is the Electoral Commissioner who is appointed by the Northern Territory Administrator following advice from the Chief Minister.  Before an appointment is made, the Chief Minister consults with the leader of each political party represented in the Legislative Assembly and any independent member of the Legislative Assembly who is not affiliated with a political party.  The Commissioner is appointed for a fixed term of 5 years.

The Commissioner oversees the conduct of all parliamentary and local government (council) elections, referenda and may be appointed as returning officer for fee-for-service elections and industrial ballots. Iain Loganathan was appointed as Electoral Commissioner in April 2014.

A small number of permanent staff is employed in the NTEC’s two offices in Darwin and Alice Springs.  During general Legislative Assembly or local government (council) elections, over 400 people are employed to fill electoral positions and provide corporate support. 

Legislative base

The Electoral Act sets out the functions and operations of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission and prescribes its electoral procedures and reporting arrangements. Importantly the Act establishes the Commission as an independent agency with a statutory independent Electoral Commissioner who oversees the conduct of all Northern Territory parliamentary elections and referenda. This also includes the capacity to be appointed as returning officer for fee-for-service elections and industrial ballots.

The Act provides for a number of functions for the Commission, especially promotion of public awareness and electoral education, including the conduct and promotion of electoral research. The Act also requires the Commission to administer the registration of political partiesand financial disclosure by political parties.

Laws and regulations that guide the NTEC’s electoral operations and how it conducts and reports elections are detailed on the legislation page​.

Local Government responsibilities

The NTEC conducts general local government (council) elections every 4 years and by-elections when required.

Responsibilities include:
  • Ensuring council electoral roll data is correctly updated.
  • Providing roll products for electoral events.
  • Approving certain forms for use in elections.
  • Organising electoral roll and nomination closures, voting, public awareness campaigns and co-ordination of results.
  • Being consulted over elector representation reviews.

Vision, mission ​and values

Our vision is to be widely recognised for expertise and excellent performance in electoral administration. Our mission is to provide independent, impartial, high quality and accessibile electoral services that are effective, efficient and delivered in accordance with the law.

The following corporate values are considered vital to our success:
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Commitment to high standards of service delivery
  • Commitment to continuous improvement
  • Respect for the law.