Federal Election 2022 early voting: How to vote early, pre polling, locations and everything to know
Posted On May 7, 2022
The process allows Australians who can’t get to a polling place on election day to cast their ballots in person.
Here’s everything you need to know about early voting.
When does early voting begin?
Early in-person voting begins on May 9, and runs until Friday, May 20.
The Australian Electoral Commission says people should vote on election day if they can do so, but that early voting is the way to go for those who can’t get to a polling place on May 21.
“Australian elections are in-person events – once every three years the country comes together in a transparent and secure environment to have their say,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.
“If you can vote on election day then that’s what you should do. However, if your circumstances might prevent you from doing that then you need to think about the early voting options available, and vote according to your circumstances.”
People who can vote early are those who, on May 21:
are outside the electorate where they are enrolled to vote
are more than 8km from a polling place
are unable to leave their workplace to vote
are seriously ill, infirm, or due to give birth shortly (or caring for someone who is)
are a patient in hospital who can’t vote at the hospital
have religious beliefs that prevent them from attending a polling place
are in prison serving a sentence of fewer than three years or otherwise detained
are a silent elector
have a reasonable fear for their safety
Where can I cast an early vote?
There are more than 500 early polling stations opening up across the country.
Do I need to apply to vote early?
Not if you’re voting in person. If you’re casting a ballot at an early polling station and are registered to vote, you can simply walk up during the station’s opening hours.
You do, however, need to make an application if you wish to submit a postal vote.
Can I vote early by post instead?
If you’re unable to get to a polling place on May 21, you’re eligible for a postal vote, which can (and, indeed, should) be filled out and sent off before election day.
You need to apply to be able to vote by post. Applications can be submitted on the AEC’s website by May 18.
The postal ballots themselves need to be completed before or on May 21 – and signed by a witness – and the AEC needs to receive them no later than 13 days after polling day, otherwise the vote won’t be counted.
When politicians facing the public gets ugly
The AEC strongly encourages Australians who are overseas to submit their votes by mail, and to do so as early as possible.