2016 federal election timetable

Updated: 8 August 2016
  • Announcement of election

    The Prime Minister announced that the 2016 federal election would be held on Saturday 2 July 2016.

    Postal vote applications opened

    If you are unable to vote on election day you can apply for a postal vote if you are eligible. SeeĀ eligibility information.

  • Issue of writ

    Writs issued for the 2016 election.

    A writ is a document commanding an electoral officer to hold an election, and contains dates for the close of rolls, the close of nominations, the polling day and the return of the writ. The Governor-General issues the writs for House of Representatives elections and the territoriesā€™ Senate elections. State Governors issue writs for states' Senate elections

  • Close of rolls

    The 'close of rolls' is the date the electoral roll closes for the federal election, as set out in the writs. After this date, you cannot enrol or update your details on the electoral roll for the federal election.

    The close of rolls date is 8pm local Australian time on the seventh calendar day after the writs are issued for the federal election.

  • Close of candidate bulk nominations

    House of Representatives. Registered political parties may lodge the nomination of all the candidates they are standing in House of Representative seats in a state/territory with the Australian Electoral Officer for that state/territory by this date.

  • Close of candidate nominations

    Close of nominations for both House of Representatives and Senate candidates occurs at exactly midday on the date set out in the writ for close of nominations. Late nominations or changes cannot be accepted.

  • Declaration of candidate nominations

    24 hours after the close of nominations (midday), all divisional returning officers and state electoral officers declare nominations and conduct a ballot draw for positions on the relevant ballot paper.

  • Early voting commenced

    Early voting becomes available for eligible voters. Eligibility criteria are the same as those for postal voting.

  • Mobile voting commenced

    Mobile polling is carried out on or before election day. Mobile polling teams visit voters in locations including hospitals, nursing homes, and remote areas.

  • Preliminary scrutiny commenced

    During preliminary scrutiny postal vote certificates and declaration envelopes containing early, absent or provisional votes are checked to determine whether the person is entitled to vote. No declaration vote envelope can be opened or ballot paper scrutinised before the close of the poll, 6pm on election day.

  • Close of postal vote applications

    An application for a postal vote must be received by the AEC no later than 6pm on the Wednesday before election day.

  • Election day

    Polling will occur in all designated polling places from 8am to 6pm local time. Polling closes at 6:00 pm sharp, however any voters in the queue at that time are able to cast their vote.

    Count of votes

    The counting of ordinary votes begins in each polling place immediately after the poll closes at 6pm on election day. The counting of House of Representatives ordinary votes taken at pre-poll voting centres also commences after 6pm on election day.

  • Last day for receipt of declaration votes

    All declaration votes must be received (either through the declaration vote exchange or postal votes being returned) in the relevant division no later than 13 days after election day.

    Postal votes are included in the count if they were cast before 6pm on election day and are received within 13 days after the close of the poll.

  • Return of writs

    The new Parliament must sit not later than 30 days after the due date for the return of the writs.