The AEC supports people living with disability to participate in the electoral system. This includes assistance to enrol, vote and find more information. It is compulsory for all Australian citizens aged 18 and over to enrol and vote in federal elections and referendums.
There are a range of accessible options in place when it comes to casting your vote and you can find the full summary here.
- Factsheet: Voting information for people with disability and mobility restrictions [PDF 68KB]
- Factsheet: Voting information for people with disability and mobility restrictions [DOCX 75KB]
Voting at a polling place
Find where to vote near you. You can filter results by the supports available for people with disability. When you pick a polling place, you can select ‘show details’ and then ‘detailed accessibility info’ for more information.
If you need help voting at a polling place, you can ask an AEC staff member or a friend or family member to help you.
Each polling place has one of the following ratings for wheelchair accessibility to help you pick the best polling place for you:
- wheelchair accessible
- assisted wheelchair access
- not wheelchair accessible.
Voting from your car
If you cannot get out of the car and the polling official in charge is satisfied you cannot enter the polling pace, someone may bring the ballot paper to you.
Hearing loops and virtual Auslan interpreters
Hearing loops are available in a polling place in each division. The location will be made available on the list of polling places once published.
A virtual Auslan interpreter service is available via the Convo Australia website or through the Convo Australia app. This service is available from the commencement of early voting on Monday 2 October through to close of voting on Saturday 14 October.
Text to speech pens
Some polling places will have text to speech pens. Information on where to find a polling places with these devices will be in the accessibility rating information section for each site.
If you can’t travel to a polling place to vote at the referendum, you may be eligible to apply for a postal vote. This means your ballot paper will be sent to you for the referendum.
You may also be eligible to become a general postal voter and receive ballot papers in the mail for each federal election or referendum.
To complete a postal vote, you may choose an assistant (such as a friend or family member) to help complete the ballot papers and envelope according to your instruction, but you as the voter must sign the envelope or make a mark as a signature.
Secure telephone voting
If you are blind or have low vision, you can use secure telephone voting to cast a vote in secret from any location, including your home.
During the early voting period, we send mobile polling teams to visit voters who are not able to get to a polling place. Mobile polling teams visit residential aged care and mental health facilities, homeless shelters and prisons. These visits occur with the cooperation and agreement of facility administrators.
Our teams visit remote communities around Australia. To see if an AEC team is in your area, visit remote voter services.
Preparing to vote and learning about the referendum
There are easy read guides, audio information and information in AUSLAN to help everyone learn about the referendum.
The Referendum Booklet is available in various languages and in Braille, large print and audio. This includes the Yes/No pamphlet written by parliamentarians, and the official guide to the referendum, which covers everything you need to know about our voter services.
Simplified education activity
The simplified online education activity is self-paced information about the process of a referendum. It is in an easy to read format with audio options. It includes what a referendum is, how to enrol, how to vote and how to ask for help.
Easy read guides
These guides explain how to enrol to vote, how to vote by mail, and how to vote in the referendum, including how to correctly complete a ballot paper.
The information is written in an easy to read way. Pictures are used to explain some ideas.
- How to enrol to vote [PDF 4.0MB] [DOCX 45KB]
- How to vote in a referendum [PDF 5.0MB] [DOCX 49KB]
- How to vote by mail [PDF 6.2MB] [DOCX 50KB]
The following Auslan videos are available to assist people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- What to expect at a polling place and how to correctly complete a ballot paper
- How the virtual Auslan interpreter service works
- Understanding the referendum.
Contacting the AEC if you are deaf or hard of hearing
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can use the National Relay Service to contact us. Call using one of the following options:
- If you use TTY, phone 133 677 then ask for 13 23 26.
- If you use Speak and Listen, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 13 23 26.
- If you use internet relay, connect through the National Relay Service website then ask for 13 23 26.
Assessing ability to vote
Australian citizens over 18 years of age are eligible to vote. However, there are circumstances where you may want to help someone unenroll.
If your relative has dementia or another condition that means they are no longer able to understand the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, complete the Objection claim that an elector should not be enrolled form to remove their name from the electoral roll. The medical certificate on the form must be completed and signed by a registered medical practitioner. Complete the form and return it to the AEC.