Although it is an independent agency, the Commission falls under the Department of Justice umbrella. It does not share a premises with the Department and does not directly work with the Department most of the time. The Commission head office is located on level 8 the State Revenue Office building, at 505 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, although during election time there may be as many as sixty offices around Victoria.
The primary function of the VEC is to conduct Victorian state elections, the last of which was held on Saturday, 25th of November, 2006. Prior to 2006, Victorian parliamentary elections could be held any time at the discretion of the government in the last year of their four year term of office. This has meant that, in practice, the average period between elections had been somewhat less than the maximum four years. From 2006 the Victorian Parliament has fixed terms with the election being held every fourth year on the last Saturday in November. The next Victorian State Government election is scheduled to be held in Saturday 27 November 2010.
At the 2010 election, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) will use mapping software to better predict the number of voters likely to attend each polling place in an effort to reduce queues. The VEC has also said it will consider wider use of electronic voting at the 2010 election.
Municipal, or local government, elections are conducted by the VEC in Victoria. Previously there was a system of competitive tendering between the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the VEC, but the AEC withdrew. The VEC still submits tenders to each council to run the municipal elections. The most recent batch of Municipal Elections were held in November 2005.
Private organisations also hire the VEC to conduct elections for them. These may include board elections.
In some municipalities (eg. City of Whitehorse, City of Boroondara) there are areas which require approval of residents for a liquor licence to be granted. In such circumstances the VEC conducts these polls.
The VEC has its own Electoral Enrolment Branch which is responsible for maintaining the State Electoral Roll. Unlike all other states (with the exception of Western Australia), the VEC maintains its own roll rather than depending on the Commonwealth roll as maintained by the AEC. The VEC still receives updates from the AEC to ensure that the Commonwealth and Victorian rolls mirror each other.
The VEC conducts several promotional programs to ensure that electors update their information by filling in Electoral Enrolment Forms when their details change.
The VEC assists the Electoral Boundaries Commission in redistributing state electoral boundaries from time to time. It also performs similar tasks in relation to local government.