2020 Election Timetable

Updated 3 Jul 2020

The ACT has fixed four-year terms. ACT Legislative Assembly elections are held on the third Saturday in October every four years.The Legislative 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:

Timetable for 2020 election
Timetable 2020 Election
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       
Preliminary roll close6 pm 11 September 2020
Nominations close 12 noon, 23 September 2020
Nominations declared and ballot paper order determined 24 September 2020
Voting commences 28 September 2020
Voting concludes 6pm 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 election 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.

Rolls close

The electoral roll closes for changes to an elector's electoral enrolment 36 days before the election, 6 pm 11 September 2020. Eligible ACT residents who are not on the roll, may enrol at any time during the voting period.

All eligible ACT residents who are Australian citizens and are 18 or over are reminded to enrol.

Nominations close

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.

Voting commences

Voting begins on 28 September 2020 and will remain open for all electors until 17 October 2020. All ACT electors can cast a vote during the voting period at any of the voting locations open across the ACT.

Election day

Election day is the final day that polling places are open for electors to cast their vote. Polling places are open on this final day from 8 am to 6 pm.

Last day for receipt of postal votes

Postal votes are accepted for another six days after election day, provided that they were posted before election 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.