About Us

Above Quota Elections has managed over one hundred complex elections, by-elections, and referenda.

These have been carried out via various methods including paper- and electronic-based attendance ballots, postal ballots, and online voting.

Above Quota has declared approximately 2,500 elected positions from more than 8,000 candidates and has processed close on two million individual ballot papers.

Returning Officers

Stephen Luntz

BA/BSci (University of Melbourne)
Grad Dip Science Communication (ANU)

Stephen is a founding Partner of Above Quota Elections whose expertise in election analysis and voting systems has been drawn on by The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC. He has provided advice on electoral reform in British Columbia and the United States, and testified before the Los Angeles City Council on the introduction of preferential voting.

Stephen is currently a staff writer for the website IFLScience.com and is the internal Returning Officer and party electoral analyst for the Australian Greens Victoria.

Returning Officer Experience

Stephen was a member of the Australian Democrats from 1990-1992, and has been a member of the Australian Greens since 1993.

Charles Richardson

PhD (Rutgers)
B.A./LL.B (University of Melbourne)

Charles joined Above Quota Elections in 2004, and has a PhD in ethics and political philosophy from Rutgers University. Charles worked as a ministerial adviser to the Kennett Government and later as editorial manager at the Centre for Independent Studies.

Charles is currently an electoral analyst for Crikey, as well as providing political commentary and electoral analysis for numerous other media outlets.

Returning Officer Experience

Charles is a life member of the Melbourne University Liberal Club and was a member of the Australian Liberal Party from 1977 until 1996.

Goldie Pergl

Goldie joined Above Quota Elections in 2010 as a junior partner, and became a Director in 2012. She has been assisting with running elections for 7 years and has extensive experience in regulations and working in University environments. Goldie was active in student politics at the University of Melbourne from 2007-2009, serving as the Clubs and Societies Office Bearer for 2 years as well as being a Students’ Councillor and Board Member. She has also worked for the Australian and Victorian Electoral Commissions.

Returning Officer Experience


Above Quota Elections (sometimes operating under the name First Preference Elections) was established in 1999 by Stephen Luntz.

During 2000-01 AQE was absorbed by KPMG Consulting Australia while it helped design eLect, the online voting system they were developing. Once eLect was approaching completion we left KPMG and returned to operating independently as a partnership. Other partners were taken on in succeeding years, including Lisa Parris, Jaimie Adam, Sam McGrath, Charles Richardson and Charlie Sanders.

Lisa left in 2005 to pursue her successful career in theatre management, and Sam left in 2007 to pursue a far greater adventure in raising two small children.

In 2010, AQE was incorporated as a company, with Stephen, Jaimie, Charles and Charlie as directors. Charlie retired from the business in 2012, at which time Goldie Pergl and Haydn Steel were appointed as directors.

Charles retired as a director in 2016 but remains involved with the company as a consultant and shareholder.