An ordinary vote is a vote cast by an elector at a polling place or at an early voting centre within the division for which they are enrolled. This is the simplest way to vote and the method used by the majority of electors.
An absent vote is a vote cast by an elector out of their home division but still within their home state or territory on election day.
You can vote early either in person or by post if on election day you:
You can vote in person at an early voting centre or any AEC divisional office in the weeks leading to the election on 14 September 2013. Details of early voting centres and opening times will be made available closer to the election period.
To vote by post you must first submit an application to the AEC. Applications are expected to be available from mid-August and may be submitted until 12 September, the Thursday before election day. The AEC will send ballot papers to you when they are printed, from 26 August.
Online applications will be available here and paper applications will be available from post offices and AEC divisional offices.
Note for those who have already applied: The AEC has accepted legal advice that postal vote applications (PVAs) cannot be made yet for the 2013 federal election. At this stage, based on the Prime Minister's public statement that she will seek the Governor-General's concurrence to dissolve the House of Representatives and issue writs for an election on 12 August, we anticipate that postal vote application forms will be available closer to that date. All electors who have submitted a PVA since 30 January 2013 will be contacted and advised how to reapply at the appropriate time period.
An interstate vote can be cast on election day at interstate voting centres by electors who are not in their home state or territory.
Providing you are currently enrolled, electors who are overseas can vote either in person at an overseas voting centre (most Australian embassies or missions), or by applying for a postal vote. The online postal vote application and a list of overseas voting centres will be available closer to election day.
A provisional vote is cast in circumstances where an elector's name cannot be found on the roll or the name has already been marked off the roll. The vote cannot be counted until a careful check of enrolment records and entitlements has been made.
Electors making an absent, postal, early (not in own division), interstate or provisional vote must complete a declaration envelope giving their personal details. This will be checked by divisional staff before the votes are counted.
AEC mobile polling teams visit many electors who are not able to get to a polling place. Mobile polling facilities are set up in some hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and remote areas of Australia. Mobile polling is carried out around Australia prior to election day and on election day.
At the next federal election, voters who are blind or have low vision will have the option to: