How To Vote Before The Election

Going to be out of town or out of the country for the federal election on 7 September? We've rounded up all your options so you can exercise your right to vote.

Today marks the official opening of pre-poll voting. If voting on 7 September is not an option for you, there are several possibilities open to you, as the Australian Electoral Commission explains. (This presumes you're already on the electoral roll, which closed for this election earlier this month.)

Officially, you're eligible to vote early if you're going to be outside your electorate on polling day, forced to work, pregnant, ill, in prison or have religious beliefs that bar voting on a Saturday. In reality, no-one is going to check closely on your actual location on the day if you vote in advance. You can choose between a postal vote or voting at an early voting centre in Australia or overseas.

Postal vote

You can apply for a postal vote online at any point up until Thursday 5 September. Postal votes are counted until 13 days after the election, but should be posted on or before election day. (We wouldn't recommend waiting until 5 September to apply). Political parties often send postal voting forms to all voters in an electorate ahead of time, so if you're feeling really lazy that's another option.

Early voting centres

You can lodge an early vote at a variety of early voting centres. The AEC site has a searchable list which shows the options for each electorate. A note for travellers: there are early voting centres at most major airports, so that can be a useful option if you're on the road prior to the election.

Voting overseas

If you're outside the country altogether and can't organise a postal vote in advance, you can visiting an overseas voting centre, assuming one is accessible. Early voting at overseas centres begins on 26 August.

Remember, voting in Australia is compulsory, so if you don't vote, you'll risk a fine. Also remember that people still regularly die in other parts of the world fighting for the right to vote: it's not a responsibility you should dismiss lightly.


Comments

    Voting early doesn't necessarily preclude you from enjoying a democracy sausage on the day however. twitter.com/DemSausage

    I'll be away for work so good info here and hope everyone does get off backside and vote, especially this election on how important it is. Although interested what it means by outside your electorate on polling day, forced to work, pregnant, ill, in prison or have religious beliefs
    So someone may not need to vote based on their religion, that's kinda messed up. Well the fact of using religion to not have to vote but also religion in itself, that's messed up too.

      My guess is that it would apply to those of the Jewish faith who interpret voting as a form of work. (with the election falling on the sabbath as I understand it).

      In any case, the list is for people eligible to apply for a postal/early vote, not for those who may abstain from voting. So you're effectively complaining about people using the religion card to vote early or by post.

    Also remember that people still regularly die in other parts of the world fighting for the right to vote: it’s not a responsibility you should dismiss lightly.

    Why should everyone have to vote, especially when they are not making an informed decision. Also, voting's a waste of time for everyone who doesn't live in a marginal seat.

    Your logic is also flawed. Just because people die for a cause, it does not make it noble. People still regularly die in other parts of the world fighting for terrorism, but that's no reason to be a terrorist

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