Fact sheet - Prisoner enrolment and voting

Updated 29 Apr 2020

To enrol, a prisoner must be:

  • 18 years of age or older, and
  • An Australian citizen or a British subject who was on a Commonwealth electoral roll on 25 January 1984.

Enrolment is compulsory for prisoners who meet these qualifications.

Special enrolment forms for prisoners are available from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Prisoners serving a sentence of three years or more are not entitled to vote in federal elections.

Voting in federal elections is compulsory for prisoners who are serving a sentence of less than three years.

Prisoners enrolled for an ACT address are eligible to vote in ACT elections regardless of their length of sentence.

Voting is compulsory for prisoners who are in prison in the ACT (unless they are enrolled for an address outside the ACT). Voting is not compulsory for anyone in prison outside the ACT.

Mobile polling teams of polling officials may visit prisons before each election to enable prisoners to vote. For an ACT Legislative Assembly election a mobile team visits the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

Prisoners may register as general postal voters, which means a postal vote will be automatically sent to them for federal and ACT elections. To register, mark the appropriate box on the enrolment form.

For an ACT election, prisoners in a prison outside the ACT can apply for a postal vote.