Organisation : Western Australian Electoral Commission
Facility : Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Country : Australia
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Can I vote in person on polling day?
Most local government elections are conducted by post. However, you can choose to take your postal voting package on polling day to the local government office and deliver it to the Returning Officer or other polling place staff. You can only vote in person on polling day if your local government is conducting an in-person election. Contact your local government for details.
Who can apply for an early vote?
The Electoral Act states who is entitled to apply for an early vote.
An elector is only entitled to apply for an early vote, if on polling day, the elector :
** will be more than 8 kilometres from a polling place between 8.00am and 6.00pm
** will be absent from the state of Western Australia or will be travelling throughout
** the hours of polling which will prevent him/her from voting
** has a serious illness or infirmity
** has emergency duty or employment
** is approaching maternity;
** is caring for a person who is ill or infirm;
** is a silent elector (section 51b)
** is a member of a religious order that precludes voting on a Saturday
** is in lawful custody or detention or imprisonment less than one year.
If you do not satisfy one of the above criteria your application for an early vote may be rejected.
What is an EasyVote card?
An EasyVote card is sent to every enrolled elector in Western Australia. It provides some useful information about polling day, including electoral information and local polling places. Take your EasyVote card with you to the polling place to help polling officers locate you on the State Electoral Roll, making it faster and more efficient for you to vote.
I have a Power of Attorney for a person. Can I enrol or vote for them?
Having a Power of Attorney does not enable you to enrol or vote for someone on their behalf. However, you are able to witness the person’s mark or signature on applicable forms, such as enrolment forms.
What do I do if I am going to be overseas on polling day?
** If you are going overseas and know that you will be away on polling day, you can still vote by completing an early vote in person or by post if it is available before you go.
** Alternatively, early voting (in person) is provided at a number of international locations, usually at Australian embassies.
** A list of international early voting (in person) locations will be provided before an upcoming election.
** If you are going to be overseas and you intend to return to Australia, you can remain on the roll at your current State address, even if you are not sure where you will live or when you will return.
** If you are intending to be overseas for more than three months and you are on the State Electoral Roll, you can apply to become an overseas elector (if you intend to return to Australia within six years) or request to be removed from the State Electoral Roll. To apply to become an overseas elector, you will need to complete an application for registration as an overseas elector form.
** If you wish to be removed from the State Electoral Roll, you will need to complete an overseas notification form.
** Forms are also available at the WAEC office, at Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) offices or you can contact the Commission to have one posted to you.
** If you are living overseas and are not on the State Electoral Roll, you aren’t eligible to vote.
** The Act states that you must be a resident at a Western Australian address for one month before you are entitled to enrol.
** When/if you return to live in Australia, make sure you complete an enrolment form.
What do I do if I am going to be away (outside WA) on polling day?
If you are going interstate and know that you will be away on polling day, you can still vote by completing an early vote in person or by post if it is available before you go. Alternatively, early voting (in person) is provided at a number of interstate locations, usually at the electoral commissions in other states and territories. A list of interstate early voting (in person) locations will be provided before an upcoming election.
How do I nominate as a candidate?
For more information, see Candidates and Parties – Nominations or the candidates’ guides for the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
When is the next election?
The election is now a fixed date that is held the second Saturday in March every four years after the previous election. The 2013 State general election was held on Saturday, 9 March 2013. The next State election will be held on 11 March 2017.
Where do I go to vote on polling day?
Once polling place locations have been confirmed, polling places are usually published on the election website, the Government Gazette (link is external) and The West Australian.
What assistance is available on polling day for people with a disability?
There are a number of services available to you on polling day. If you need assistance, please advise a polling official and they will be able to help. Polling places have a range of assistive devices to ensure everyone is able to vote.
These include :
** desktop voting screens
** magnifying screens
** triangular pencils
** better hearing cards.
Some polling places will have additional services available, including :
** Vote Assist for the vision impaired
** audio loops for the Deaf and hard of hearing
** drive-in polling.
Polling places with wheelchair access will be highlighted on polling place maps and will also be in the newspaper on election day :
** If you have mobility issues and someone is able to drive you to a polling place, a polling official can to come to your vehicle to help you cast your vote on request.
** Should you require any further assistance, ask a polling official.
** If you are unable to travel to a polling place, you may be eligible to apply for registration as a general early voter to be automatically listed as an early postal voter in future elections.
I will be away from my district on polling day. How do I vote?
You can attend any polling place in WA on polling day and vote as an absent voter if you are outside your district. As an absent voter, you will need to give your details, including your address, to a polling official who will establish your correct district. You will then be asked to complete a declaration before being given your voting papers to complete.
What happens on polling day?
When you arrive at a polling place, you will be directed to an issuing officer and asked for your name, address and whether you have voted previously in this election. You will then be marked off the electoral roll and issued two ballot papers, one each for the relevant Legislative Assembly district and Legislative Council region.
Then you will need to :
** proceed alone to a vacant voting screen
** read the instructions on the ballot paper
** complete the ballot papers as instructed
** fold the ballot paper to conceal your vote
** put each ballot paper separately in the appropriate ballot box.
If, at any time, you require assistance, ask a polling official.
Is voting compulsory?
If you are enrolled to vote, voting is compulsory. If you do not enrol, you will be fined. If you do not vote, you will receive a notice asking you to explain why you did not vote. If the reason not valid or sufficient, you can be fined in accordance with the Electoral Act.
I am over 70. Do I have to vote?
All people correctly enrolled to vote are obliged to vote, regardless of their age. All polling places will be able to provide assistance to help you cast your vote. Some polling places have additional services available. If you can’t get to a polling place on polling day, you may want to consider applying for early voting or registering as a general early voter.