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Organisation : Victorian Electoral Commission
Facility : How to Vote
Country : Australia
Territory : Victoria

How to Vote :
Home Page :

How to vote : State elections
State elections are held every four years on the last Saturday in November. The elections are independently conducted by the VEC. The next State election will be held on Saturday, 29 November 2014.

Who am I electing? :
The Parliament of Victoria is divided into :
** the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and
** the Legislative Council (Upper House).

When you vote at a State election, you are voting for one person to represent your district in the Legislative Assembly and five people to represent your region in the Legislative Council.

The Legislative Assembly :
** There are 88 members in the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) (external link)., one for each district in Victoria. After the election, the party or coalition (group of parties) with most seats in the Lower House forms government.
** Members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to serve a term of four years.

How to vote for the Legislative Assembly :
To complete a ballot paper for the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) place a 1 in the box of your preferred candidate, and then number all the remaining boxes in the order of your preference. This is called full preferential voting.

The Legislative Council :
There are 40 members in the Legislative Council (Upper House) (external link). Victoria is divided into eight regions and each region has five members. The Legislative Council is often called the ‘house of review’ as it is the role of the Upper House to review legislation that has been passed in the Lower House.

How to vote for the Legislative Council :
You can vote above or below the line.
** If you choose to vote above the line, you must only place a 1 in the box above the party you want to support. Your ballot paper will be counted according to the preferences on the group’s registered group voting ticket.

** If you choose to vote below the line, place a 1 in the box against your most preferred candidate and continue numbering 2,3,4,5 and so on in order of your choice.. You are only required to number a total of five preferences (i.e. 2, 3, 4 and 5), but can number more. This is called optional preferential voting.

Who are my members of Parliament? :
For details about currently elected members of Parliament, please visit the Parliament of Victoria website (external link).

How to vote Local council elections :
Local council elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in October. The next council elections will be held on Saturday, 22 October 2016.

Who am I electing? :
At local council elections, you elect people to represent your local municipality. The number of councillors you elect and the municipality’s electoral structure are determined by the Minister for Local Government.

Each municipality in Victoria must have a council consisting of between 5 and 12 councillors. For most municipalities, once the required number of councillors has been elected, these councillors decide which one of them will act as mayor.

Voters in the City of Melbourne (external link) also elect a Leadership Team consisting of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor. Voters in the City of Greater Geelong (external link) also directly elect the Mayor.

How do I vote in a local council election? :
Local council elections can be conducted by postal voting or attendance voting. Each council chooses the method that will be used. In most cases, councils use postal voting. The method of voting is noted in all advertising and will be clearly identified on this website as early as possible.

To vote correctly in a council election you must number every box on the ballot paper in the order of your choice. This is because council elections use the full preferential voting.

Because the City of Melbourne must elect both a leadership team as well as regular councillors, two ballot papers are used. The leadership team is elected using the full preferential voting system. The remaining councillor positions are determined using above or below the line voting.

If you choose to vote above the line, you must only place a 1 in the box above the group you want to support. When voting above the line your ballot paper will be counted using preferences determined by the group you have selected.

If you choose to vote below the line, you must place a 1 against your most preferred candidate and then number all the other boxes below the line according to your preference.

Can I vote for multiple properties? :
At a council election, you can only vote once per municipality. That is, if you pay rates on two properties in the same municipality, you can only vote once.

If you pay rates on two properties in the same municipality, and one is your home, then you would vote for that address. If you are the first-named or second-named owner of property in a municipality other than the one that you live in, you are automatically entitled to be on the voters roll for the ward in which the property is situated.

Multiple property owners are entitled to vote for only one property in a municipality; the property is determined by the council (generally based on capital improved value) unless you nominate a particular property before entitlement day.

Who are my local councillors? :
Details about currently elected councillors can be accessed via the Local Government Victoria website (external link).

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