Direct Enrolment and Update

Updated: 8 September 2016

Enrolling to vote

It is compulsory for Australian citizens aged 18 and over to enrol and vote in federal elections.

When you enrol, your name and address is added to the 'electoral roll' – the list of people entitled to vote in an election.

You are required by law to keep your details on the electoral roll correct and up-to-date.

It's now easier to enrol and update your details on the electoral roll.

Direct enrolment and update

New laws passed by the Australian Parliament allow the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to directly enrol you or update your details on the electoral roll based on information from other government agencies.

We will write to you and let you know if we intend to add your name and address to the electoral roll or update your details.

You do not need to reply to the letter if the details are correct. If the details are incorrect, you have 28 days to let us know.

Other ways to enrol

Direct enrolment and update will not affect everyone.

You can enrol or update your details online.

Enrolment forms are also available at any Australia Post, Medicare, Centrelink or AEC office.

It is still your responsibility to enrol and to keep your enrolment details up-to-date.

Special enrolment options

You can apply for special enrolment if you:

  • believe having your address shown on the electoral roll may put you or your family at risk (silent elector)
  • cannot physically attend a polling place on election day (general postal voter)
  • are a person with no fixed address
  • are overseas or going overseas
  • are unable to sign your name due to physical incapacity
  • are in prison.

Special category enrolment forms are available online or from your local AEC office.

Enrolment and voting are compulsory by law.

Voting

The right to vote is one of the privileges of living in a democracy–you get a say in who governs our country.

Prior to election day, the AEC will send you an official guide on how and when to vote.

Fines and penalties

The AEC wants to make sure all eligible Australians are on the electoral roll. You will not be fined for not enrolling in the past.

Once enrolled, you must vote in federal elections and state and local government elections (where voting is compulsory) or you may be fined.

Will I be directly enrolled for state and territory elections?

In most states and territories, direct enrolment or update will allow you to vote in federal, state and local government elections. In some states you will be required to provide additional information and this will be explained on the letter you receive from the AEC.

I was previously 'Smartrolled' in New South Wales or directly enrolled in Victoria

The AEC may use NSW and Victorian state direct enrolment information to directly enrol or update you for federal purposes.

We will write to you and let you know if we intend to add your name and address to the electoral roll or update your details based on this information.

Alternatively, you can enrol online or pick up an enrolment form at any Australia Post, Medicare, Centrelink or AEC office.

How did you get my personal details?

The AEC is authorised under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to collect your personal information from other government agencies for the purpose of maintaining the electoral roll.

When you gave your personal details to another agency, you would have been informed that your information would be shared with other government agencies.

The AEC's direct enrolment and update privacy impact statement is available below for more detailed information on how your personal information is used in this process.

What if I'm only living at my address temporarily?

You should be enrolled at your usual place of residence. This is the address you intend to return to even if you are living somewhere else temporarily.

Remember, you must vote for the electorate you are enrolled in.

What about the other people who live at my address?

It is their responsibility to enrol and keep their enrolment details up-to-date.

They can do this online or pick up an enrolment form at any Australia Post, Medicare, Centrelink or AEC office.

Australian citizens aged 16 or 17 are eligible to enrol now but can't vote until they turn 18.

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