Early Voting in Australia

What is Early Voting in Australia?.

Early voting is a facility that allows people to vote earlier than the actual day set aside for voting.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 currently allows pre-poll voting to commence five days after the declaration of nominations, which for the 2019 federal election resulted in a three week pre-poll voting period.

In the 2016 Australian federal election, 31.2% of the formal votes cast in the election were early votes.
This compares to only about 11% in 2004.

2019 Federal Election Early Voting.

In the 2019 Federal Election (on 18 May 2019) 4,766,853 votes were placed at early voting centres between 29 April and 17 May, 2019. That alone was 33.44% of the 14,253,393 votes counted.
Another 1,605,998 votes were placed by postal votes, between 11 April 2019 and 17th May 2019.
This made the 2019 total of early voting and postal voting coming to 44.7% of the total. (6.37 million out of 14.25 million votes)

Early voting can be done in one of a few ways, mainly:

  • pre-poll ordinary votes
  • pre-poll declaration votes
  • postal votes

Most of the increase in early voting since 2010 has been largely due to pre-poll ordinary votes. The number of postal voting and pre-poll declaration votes have remained stable in comparison.

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In 2019 there is a discussion to do something to reduce the ability to early vote, at some stage in the future.


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