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Introduction

Australia is a representative democracy with 3 elected levels of government:

  • federal
  • state/territory
  • local. 

Federal government elections are managed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). To find the date of the next federal election, visit the AEC website.

State and local government elections in NSW are managed by the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC)

Under Australian law, if you are eligible to vote you must:

  • enrol to vote
  • vote in all federal, state and local government elections, by-elections and referendums.

You only need to enrol once to vote for all 3 levels of government.

Find out how to enrol to vote at elections or learn more about the different levels of governments in Australia.

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote if you:

  • are an Australian citizen
  • are a British citizen who was enrolled to vote in Australia on or before 25 January 1984, and
  • are aged 18 years or older, and
  • have lived at your current address for at least one month.

Note: You can enrol when you turn 16 years of age but cannot vote until you’re 18.

How to vote

Where and when to vote

Polling day is always on a Saturday. Polling places are open between 8am and 6pm and are usually located in local schools, church halls or public buildings.

Learn more about:

Local and state government elections

If you’re unable to go to a voting centre or polling place on election day, you may be eligible to vote using one of the following methods:

  • in person at a voting centre or polling place on election day
  • in person at an early voting centre or pre-poll venue before election day
  • online (with a computer or other device) or over the telephone using iVote
  • by post at a single election or as a general postal voter
  • on site at a declared institution or facility (some nursing homes, convalescent homes, hospitals and aged care institutions) using a declaration envelope.

Federal government elections

If you’re unable to go to a voting centre or polling place on election day, you may be eligible to vote using one of the following methods:

  • in person at an early voting centre, interstate voting centre or overseas voting centre
  • via the AEC’s telephone voting service (if you’re blind, have low vision or are working in, or in transit to/from, Antarctica)
  • by post
  • at a mobile polling place (set up in some hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and remote areas of Australia).

Note: If you have special needs or specific circumstances that may affect your enrolment, visit the AEC website.

Help with voting at elections

If you’re voting for the first time or want to know how to complete the voting forms, you can use the practice tools on the AEC website.

You can also access information in: 

Last updated: 9 May 2022