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Organisation : Victorian Electoral Commission
Facility : Election Types
Country : Australia
Territory : Victoria

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Election Types :
Home Page :

Types of elections :
Australia is a representative democracy, which means we elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. Voters elect representatives at regular intervals to each of the three levels of government; State, local council and Federal.

State elections :
State elections are held on the last Saturday of November every four years. The next State election will be held on Saturday 24 November 2018.

Victoria is divided into 88 districts (the Lower House) and eight regions (the Upper House). In a State election, you vote for one representative for your district and five representatives for your region. If a district vacancy occurs during the term of the Parliament, a by-election is conducted.

Local council elections :
Local council elections are held on the fourth Saturday of October every four years. The next round of council elections will be held on 22 October 2016. Local councils make decisions about services in your neighborhood. To find out more about your local council please view our local council profiles. If a vacancy occurs during a council term, the vacancy will be filled via a by-election or countback depending on the electoral structure applying.

Extraordinary vacancies :
When an elected representative resigns or is otherwise unable to complete their term, the vacancy may be filled by either a countback, by-election or appointment.For more details about the various methods and when they are applied, please see countbacks, by-elections and appointments.

Federal elections :
Federal elections are conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (external link) Australia’s Federal government makes decisions about issues that affect all Australians. The Federal Parliament (external link) has both an Upper (Senate) and Lower House (House of Representatives), which function in a similar way to the Victorian Parliament.

Other elections & polls :
Liquor licensing polls :
Part of the City of Boroondara requires the approval of residents before a liquor licence application can be granted by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) (external link). Residents are asked to vote to decide if a liquor licence should be approved.

As directed by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), dry area polls are no longer required for restaurant and cafe liquor licence applications. The VEC will continue to poll affected dry areas for general (hotel and bar), on-premises and club liquor licence applications as instructed by the VCGLR.

How are liquor licensing polls conducted? :
Liquor licensing polls are conducted in accordance with the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.

Enrolled residents in the neighbourhood of the premises applying for a liquor licence are required to vote. Liquor licencing polls are compulsory and anyone who fails to vote without a valid excuse may be fined. The VCGLR determines the neighbourhood boundaries for each poll in consultation with the VEC.

In most cases, liquor licensing polls are run by postal voting. Notices of the poll are placed in local newspapers and ballot packs are automatically sent to enrolled voters within the neighbourhood boundary. The ballot paper must be returned by polling day, which is clearly identified on each ballot pack.

If the majority of voters (half of the number of formal votes plus one) vote ‘yes’, a liquor licence application can be approved.

Community and commercial elections :
The VEC also provides expert, independent election services to commercial and community organisations.

The VEC’s ability to provide these election services is determined by :
** the size of the election
** the documented process for administering the election
** the timing of the election in relation to the VEC’s existing electoral commitments

Commercial and community elections are run on a fee-for-service basis. For information about the services we offer, please contact the VEC.

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