What to do if you will be overseas on Election Day

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Travel News 26 May 2016

If you are going to be overseas on Election day, Saturday 2 July 2016 you can still have your say in the Australian federal election.

To be able to vote, you will need to make sure you are enrolled to vote and that your details are up to date.

You might be able to vote before election day in Australia before you travel overseas. Locations and times will be available on the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website from 12 June 2016: aec.gov.au

Otherwise, you will be able to vote one of two ways:

  • by applying online for a postal vote; or
  • by attending an Australian diplomatic mission overseas to cast an early vote.

Lodging a postal vote does not require you to attend an Australian diplomatic mission overseas. This means you can avoid any queues and delays that may result from the strict security arrangements that are in place at most Australian missions. Online applications for a postal vote are available on the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au. Apply now so there is enough time for your ballot papers to be sent to you. Your application for a postal vote must be received by the AEC by 29 June.

Early voting will be available at a number of Australian Missions from 20 June. A limited number of Australian missions may also be open on election day (Saturday, 2 July). Voters should check directly with the mission closer to this date for opening days and hours and specific requirements to gain entry to the premises.

Other information

You will need to know which Australian address you are currently enrolled at in order to be issued with the correct ballot papers for your electorate. Some diplomatic missions will have computer terminals available for voters wishing to check their enrolment details via the AEC website prior to voting. Not all missions will have this facility, so voters are advised to check with the mission before they arrive. Alternatively, you can check now at www.aec.gov.au/check

Voting by Australians who are overseas at the time of the federal election is not compulsory. Australians who are not in Australia on election day will not be fined if they do not vote. If you do not vote, however, you should notify the AEC that you are overseas by completing the overseas notification form available on the AEC web site.