General Postal Voters

Electors who are registered as general postal voters will be sent ballot papers as soon as practicable after the declaration of nominations for a federal election, the issue of writs for a federal referendum, or according to the legislative timeline for a state or local government election (contact your state Electoral Commission for more details).

Once you are registered as a general postal voter, you will automatically receive your ballot papers in the mail after an election has been announced. You do not need to re-apply for future elections.

The Commonwealth of Australia

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is authorised under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA) to collect and verify the information you have been asked to complete on this form. The information provided will assist the AEC to maintain electoral rolls.

The AEC may disclose electoral information to persons or organisations in accordance with the CEA. This may include:

  • access to the publicly available electoral roll (containing names and addresses) which may be inspected at electoral offices
  • state and territory electoral authorities
  • Members of Parliament, Senators, registered political parties, and candidates for the House of Representatives
  • approved medical research and public health screening programs
  • any agencies, persons or organisations prescribed in the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016.

For more information on privacy, visit The office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.

States and territories

The New South Wales Electoral Commission is authorised under the New South Wales Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 to collect and provide such electoral information as title, name and postal address, date of birth, gender and electoral area to:

  • Members of State Parliament and registered political parties
  • groups and candidates participating in the electoral process – date of birth is not provided
  • certain health screening programs – within National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines
  • State agencies – including NSW Police, Sheriff’s Office, ICAC, Department of Fair Trading, NSW Crime Commission and Office of State Revenue.

Under the Victorian Electoral Act 2002, enrolment information is available to:

  • Members of Parliament, registered political parties and election candidates. This information includes name, address, date of birth and gender.
  • The AEC and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) exchange electoral information under a joint roll arrangement to update the electoral roll. As part of the roll update activities the VEC may disclose your name to other people living at your enrolment address.
  • The electoral roll can be inspected at the office of the VEC. Only names and addresses are provided, though the addresses of silent electors are not disclosed on the publicly available roll.
  • The Juries Commission under the Juries Act 2000 and local governments under the Local Government Act 1989.
  • Other organisations – in limited circumstances. However, before releasing enrolment information, the Victorian Electoral Commission must weigh up public interest arguments with privacy considerations and consult with the Privacy Commissioner. A full list of agencies receiving enrolment information is available from the VEC website and the VEC.

Electoral Commission Queensland provides electoral information to organisations authorised under the Queensland Electoral Act 1992.

Similar information to that provided to Commonwealth agencies is provided by the Western Australian Electoral Commission to state agencies for law enforcement and medical research and to local governments for electoral purposes.

Similar information is provided by the Electoral Commission of South Australia as authorised under the State Electoral Act 1985.

Roll information may be supplied by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to Members of Parliament, registered political parties, candidates and organisations approved by the Commission.

The Commission may approve the supply of roll information for ethically approved medical research, to assist in investigation and prevention of breaches of the law or protection of public revenue, and for other purposes considered to be for the benefit of the individual or the community as a whole.

The Electoral Act 2004 provides penalties for the use of rolls other than for a purpose permitted under the Act or as approved by the Commission.

Public roll information may be supplied to Members of the Legislative Assembly, candidates, registered political parties and other organisations – for purposes permitted under the Electoral Act 1992 (ACT).

The ACT Electoral Commission provides electoral information including name and postal address, date of birth and gender to the ACT Supreme Court for purposes permitted by the Juries Act 1967 (ACT), the Chief Health Officer to maintain the cancer register under the Public Health Regulation 2000 (ACT) and the Chief Executive of the Treasury to contact former Totalcare Industries Ltd employees about superannuation.

Electoral information including title, name and postal address, date of birth, occupation and gender is provided:

  • to the Sheriff for the preparation of jury rolls
  • to Members of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
  • on request, to registered political parties.

It is also provided upon request for medical research and health screening programs where the Electoral Commissioner believes the public interest outweighs privacy considerations. This information may include title, name and address, postal address, age range, occupation and gender.

Every time you change your address or change your name you need to update your details on the electoral roll.

There is no need to reapply to be a general postal voter if one of the circumstances listed above still apply to you.

Updated: 14 May 2020
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