Early voting in 2022 federal elections: early voting, pre-polling, locations and everything you need to know

The process makes it possible Australians who cannot go to a polling station on election day to cast their vote.
Here’s everything you need to know about early to vote
A voter casts his vote
Early Personal Voting begins on May 9 and runs through Friday, May 20. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

When does early voting start?

Early Personal Voting begins on May 9 and runs through Friday, May 20.

The Australian Election Commission says people should vote on Election Day if they can, but early voting is the best choice for those unable to get to a polling station on May 21.

“Australian elections are personal events – once every three years the country comes together in a transparent and safe environment to have their say,” Election Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

“If you can vote on Election Day, then you should. However, if your circumstances prevent you from doing so, you should think about the options available for early voting and voting based on your circumstances.”

The AEC has encouraged people to vote on Election Day, but pre-polling is available for those unable to attend on May 21. (AEC)

People who can vote early are those who on May 21:

  • are outside the electorate where they are registered to vote
  • being more than 8 km from a polling station
  • are on a trip
  • can’t leave their workplace to vote
  • are seriously ill or frail or are about to give birth (or are caring for someone who is)
  • are a patient in the hospital who can’t vote in the hospital
  • have religious beliefs that prevent them from attending a polling station
  • being in prison and serving or otherwise serving a sentence of less than three years
  • be a silent voter
  • have a reasonable fear for their safety

Where can I cast an early vote?

More than 500 early polling stations have been opened across the country.

Do I have to register to vote early?

Not if you vote in person. If you’re voting at an early polling station and you’re registered to vote, just walk in during polling station hours.

If you wish to vote by post, you must submit an application.

AEC officials count the votes in the latest federal election. (Nine)

Can I vote early by post instead?

If you are unable to attend a polling station on May 21, you will be eligible for a postal ballot, which can (and should) be completed and sent before Election Day.

To vote by post, you must register. Applications can be submitted on the AEC .’s website before May 18.

The ballot papers themselves must be completed – and signed by a witness – by or on May 21, and received by the AEC no later than 13 days after election day, otherwise the votes will not be counted.

When Politicians Watching the Public Get Ugly

The AEC strongly encourages Australians who are abroad to submit their votes by post as early as possible.

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