Australian Electoral Commission

Informal voting

Updated: 20 December 2012

An informal vote is a ballot paper which has been incorrectly completed or not filled in at all. Informal votes are not counted towards any candidate but are set aside.

According to s. 268 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918), a vote is informal if:

  • The ballot paper is not marked at all.
  • The ballot paper does not have the official mark and has not been initialled by the polling official and the ballot paper is not authentic in the opinion of the Divisional Returning Officer (DRO).
  • The ballot paper has writing on it which identifies the voter.
  • In the case of an absent vote the ballot paper is not contained in the declaration envelope.
  • The voter has not marked a vote correctly for it to be considered acceptable.

In this section

Research reports