2022 Federal Election 2022 Newsfeed

Easy tips to help you vote successfully in the 2022 Federal Election

Voting at an election is our biggest democratic right. Some might not like the process, but at the end of the day we understand the importance of voting to ensure our opinions are heard. In Australia, citizens have the responsibility as well as the right to vote at the 2022 Federal Election. It is a powerful way for us as citizens to have a say in the decision-making which can affect our lives.

Box with a slot in it and a hand dropping a letter shaped envelope into the slot
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

We still vote with pencils and paper because, even in this high tech world, it remains the most secure way to run the poll. As such, it is important to take the voting process seriously to ensure you cast your vote correctly.

IMPORTANT NOTE! It is important to check the AEC website for up-to-date instructions for future elections.

To vote successfully, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) provides loads of easy to understand information. Here’s a summary.

1. Make sure your details are up to date on the electoral roll, or enrol if you are 18-years-old or about to turn 18

Update my details on the electoral roll

When you move to a new house, change your name, or if your personal details (mobile number, email etc.) change, you must update your details on the electoral roll.

Enrol to vote

Enrol and electoral roll examples

To enrol for the first time or to get back on the roll, you can enrol online.

All eligible Australian citizens are required by law to enrol and vote in Federal Elections, by-elections and referendums.

You are an eligible Australian if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • aged 18 years and over, and
  • have lived at your address for at least one month

IMPORTANT NOTE! If you are 16 or 17 you can enrol now to be ready to vote once you turn 18.

To enrol you will need:

  • your driver’s licence, or
  • your Australian passport, or
  • have someone who is enrolled confirm your identity

IMPORTANT NOTE! 18+ or Proof of Age cards are not accepted

2. Make sure you know your electorate

Find my electorate

Your electorate is the geographical area you live in which is represented by a Member of Parliament (MP) elected at a House of Representatives election.

You use the ‘find my electorate’ search to find:

  • which federal electorate you live in
  • a profile and map of your federal electorate
  • the name of your MP in the House of Representatives

The search will ask you to enter your region/ suburb and then you can choose the correct answer from the drop-down menu and search for your electorate.

3. Make sure you know how to fill in the ballot papers

How to vote

All eligible Australian citizens over 18 years of age are obliged to vote.

Once your name is on the electoral roll and a Federal Election is called, you can choose people to represent you in the two houses of the Commonwealth Parliament – the House of Representatives and the Senate.

FUN FACT! Voting was made compulsory for federal elections in 1924 in response to low voter turnout at previous elections. For example, the lowest turnout for a federal election was in 1903 when only 50.3% of enrolled voters voted.

‘How to vote’ video from the AEC

The House of Representatives

  • It is the house in which the Australian Government is formed
  • Australia is divided into electoral divisions (electorates)
  • Voters in each electoral division choose one person (a Member of Parliament) to represent them
The House of Representatives in Canberra parliament which is green
Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

House of Representatives ballot papers

The House of Representatives ballot papers are green in colour

Sample House of Representatives ballot paper

Voting for a Member of the House of Representatives:

  1. write the number ‘1’ in the box next to the candidate who is your first choice

Sample House of Representatives ballot paper

2. write ‘2′, ‘3’ and so on against all the other candidates

3. do so until all boxes have been numbered, in order of your preference

Polling officials are available to assist. If you make a mistake you can ask for a new ballot paper.

The Senate

  1. Voters in each state and territory elect Senators to represent them in the Senate
  2. States have 12 Senators
  3. The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory each have 2 Senators

Each state and territory elects multiple Senators using a preferential voting system.

The Senate in Canberra parliament which is red
Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

Senate ballot papers

  • Senate ballot papers are white in colour
  • Some columns will feature a party logo, and some won’t. This is depends on whether a party has officially registered a logo with the AEC
  • number boxes above the line for the parties or groups of your choice, OR
  • number boxes below the line for individual candidates of your choice
Sample Senate ballot paper above the line

Above the line

If you vote above the line, you need to number at least six boxes from 1 to 6.

  1. Place a 1 in the box above the party/group that is your first choice

Sample Senate ballot paper above the line

2. Place a 2 in the box above the party/group that is your second choice and so on

Sample Senate ballot paper above the line

3. Number at least six boxes above the line

Sample Senate ballot paper below the line

Below the line

If you vote below the line, you need to number at least 12 boxes from 1 to 12.

  1. Place a 1 in the box beside the candidate that is your first choice

Sample Senate ballot paper below the line

2. Then numbers 2, 3, 4 and so on to at least the number 12

Polling officials are available to assist. If you make a mistake you can ask for a new ballot paper.

Informal votes

An informal ballot paper:

  1. has been incorrectly completed OR
  2. has not been filled in at all

Informal votes are not counted towards any candidate.

A ballot paper for the House of Representatives is informal if:

  • a number is repeated
  • it is blank/unmarked
  • ticks/crosses have been used
  • the voter’s intention is not clear
  • it has writing on it which identifies the voter
  • it has not received the official mark of the presiding officer and is not considered authentic

4. Election Day tips and tricks

  1. Election day is 21 May 2022
  2. There will be a number of polling places you can go to vote, usually schools, churches and community buildings
  3. Voting occurs between 8am and 6pm
  4. While waiting in line the smell of sausage sizzles will waft past, which will make you hangry
  5. When you get inside the polling place, there will be election officials
  6. They are there to assist and coordinate the crowd accordingly
  7. You will be directed to a table to talk to an election official
  8. The election official will ask you thre questions: What is your full name? Where do you live? Have you voted before in this election?
  9. The official will check the certified list of eligible voters in the electorate, mark your name off, and initial each ballot paper in the top right–hand corner
Official use only section in the top right hand corner of the ballot paper where polling officials initial the ballot papers
Section where polling official initial the ballot papers

10. Then you will receive your two ballot papers

11. When you have your ballot papers, take them to one of the cardboard voting screens for privacy

12. When you have filled out your ballot papers, fold them and place them in the sealed ballot boxes

13. There will be two ballot boxes

  • 1 for the green ballot paper
  • 1 for the white ballot paper

16. When you have put your votes in the ballot boxes, you have finished voting and can enjoy your sausage sizzle