Australian Electoral Commission


Updated: 22 August 2016

Compulsory voting

Compulsory voting means that every eligible Australian citizen (18 years or older) is required by law to enrol and vote. If a person does not vote and is unable to provide a 'valid and sufficient' reason, a penalty is imposed. Compulsory voting is a distinctive feature of the Australian political culture.

All Australians who are eligible to vote elect people to represent them in the two houses of Parliament – the Senate and the House of Representatives.