Fact sheet - Voting

Updated 22 Sep 2016

Elections are always held on a Saturday. The easiest way to vote is at your nearest polling place, often in your local school. They are open 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can vote at any polling place in the ACT.

Polling officials are there to help you. Some polling places have officials who speak other languages besides English. Some polling places have suitable access for people with a disability,

At a polling place your name is marked off the electoral roll to show you have voted. You fill in your ballot paper at a voting screen so your vote is secret. You put your ballot paper into a sealed ballot box. It is not unsealed until after the polls have closed. You must not write your name on the ballot paper because the way you vote is private. In some polling places you can choose to vote electronically.

Voting is compulsory.

If you are not going to be able to vote on election day you can vote early. For 3 weeks before every election pre-poll voting centres are set up around Canberra where you can cast a normal vote between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday except public holidays. They remain open until 8:00 pm on the night before the election.

Pre-poll voting is also available in each State or Territory capital city at their Electoral Commission. They are open during normal business hours for the pre-poll period.

People who will not be able to vote on election day or at a pre-poll voting centre can apply for a postal vote.You can apply online at www.elections.act.gov.au or by phone. Application forms are also available at Elections ACT's office, ACT post offices, ACT public libraries and Access Canberra shopfronts at the time of the election.

Ballot papers can be posted to you, wherever you may be at the time, up to 2 days before the election if you are in Australia or one week before the election if you are overseas. You must sign the declaration form and post the papers back (faxes will not do) before polling day. They must reach Elections ACT by no later than Friday after polling day.