2020 Legislative Assembly election
From 1989 until 2004, the ACT had fixed three-year terms. Since the 2004 election, the ACT has had fixed four-year terms. ACT Legislative Assembly elections are now held on the third Saturday in October every four years. From its establishment in 1989 until 2015, the ACT Legislative Assembly consisted of 17 members. Since the 2016 election, the Assembly consists of 25 members.
ACT Legislative Assembly elections follow a timetable, as outlined in the following table showing the expected timetable for the election due to be held in 2020:
|Last day to lodge applications for party register||30 June 2020|
|Party registration closes||10 September 2020|
|Pre-election period commences and nominations open||11 September 2020|
|Rolls close||8pm 18 September 2020|
|Nominations close||12 noon, 23 September 2020|
|Nominations declared and ballot paper order determined||24 September 2020|
|Pre-poll voting commences||28 September 2020|
|Polling day||17 October 2020|
|Last day for receipt of postal votes||23 October 2020|
|Scrutiny||17 October 2020 until as soon as practicable after the last day for the receipt of postal votes|
|Poll declared||As soon as practicable after the conclusion of the scrutiny|
|Legislative Assembly formed||Within 7 days of the declaration of the poll|
Last day to lodge applications for party register
An application for party registration, or any application to change the name or abbreviation of an already registered party, may be made at any time. However, to take effect at an election, an application must be made before 1 July in an election year.
Party registration closes
The Commissioner is required to close the register 36 days before polling day. No action can be taken on any application or appeal against a decision on an application during the pre-election period.
Pre-election period commences and nominations open
Nominations open 36 days before the election. You can stand for election to the ACT Legislative Assembly if you are:
- an Australian citizen, and
- 18 years old, and
- qualified to be an elector in the ACT (that is, you have lived in the ACT for at least one month).
A person who wants to be a candidate for election to the ACT Legislative Assembly must first make certain they are qualified and then be nominated. They may be nominated by twenty electors who are entitled to vote in the electorate for which they wish to stand or by a registered political party. A deposit of $250 must accompany each candidate's nomination.
The electoral roll closes 29 days before the election. All ACT residents who are Australian citizens and are 18 or over are reminded to enrol. If your name is not on the roll by the time it closes you will not be able to vote at the election.
Nominations close 24 days before an election. This gives time for the ballot papers to be printed correctly before polling commences. Any candidate who is not nominated by this time cannot stand in the election.
Nominations declared and ballot paper order determined
Nominations are declared 24 hours after they close. The order of names on the ballot papers are then determined by lot.
Pre-poll voting commences
Voting starts 19 days before the election for those people who cannot get to a polling booth on polling day. These people may be sick or overseas or going away on holidays or have to work on polling day. If the day that voting is due to commence is a public holiday in the ACT, then voting commences on the next business day.
Polling day is the day that polling places open all over the ACT for people to be able to cast their vote. Polling places are open from 8 am to 6 pm.
Last day for receipt of postal votes
Postal votes are accepted for another six days after polling day, provided that they were posted before polling day.
As soon as the poll closes, counting of the votes begins. This is called the scrutiny. Votes are initially counted in each polling place. Votes are entered into a computer system which checks formality and distributes preferences.
Legislative Assembly formed
All 25 members of the Legislative Assembly meet and vote for a Speaker for the Assembly. Then the members vote for the Chief Minister.