tales from urban dilettantia


Election How-To

The Federal Election was called over the weekend, and will be held on Saturday 21 August 2010. If you’re not enrolled to vote, you have a tiny bit of grace to get it done.

Australians not enrolled to vote have until 8pm tonight to enrol.  Australian who are already on the electoral roll but have moved address have until 8pm on Thursday July 22 (that’s this coming Thursday) to update their details. ‘

While it’s now too late to post your enrolment form, you can still take it to any Australian Electoral Commission office in person, or fax or email it to an office between the hours of 8:30am and 8pm today.

Location and contact details of AEC offices: http://www.aec.gov.au/contact

Information on returning enrolment form: http://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/send-form.htm

If you’re not sure if you’re enroled correctly, you can check here: http://www.aec.gov.au/check or by calling 13 23 26.

While the AEC website will tell you that it is compulsory for all Australian citizens aged 18 years and over to enrol and vote in the 2010 federal election, this is not technically the case. In October 2007, the AEC confirmed that “it is not an offence to vote informally in a federal election, nor is it an offence to encourage other voters to vote informally”. The significance of this is that it is compulsory for you to enrol to vote and it’s compulsory for you to turn up to a polling place (or submit a postal vote form), but it is fine to put a blank ballot in the box if you so choose, and so abstain from casting a vote. (While I don’t personally believe in abstaining, I do think you have a right to accurate information.)

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be running an updated version my ‘election-how-to’ series from 2007 on my LiveJournal and my blog at flyingblogspot.com – if you have any election-related questions over the next month that aren’t addressed in the series, ask in the comments and I will do my best to find you an answer.

But in the meantime, if you’re not correctly enroled, go do it now!

Category: politics

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