Electoral Roll – Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 5 January 2017

How can I view the electoral roll?

See electoral roll information

Can I buy the electoral roll?

The roll is not available for sale in any format.

Why was I removed from the roll?

Your name may have been removed from the electoral roll if the AEC was unable to confirm your enrolment details.

The AEC conducts regular reviews to maintain an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll. Information from other agencies assists this process. If the AEC has received information that an enrolled person has moved, the AEC will try to make contact, through the 'Continuous Roll Update' program, which includes direct mail and door-knocking.

If the AEC does not receive a response, your name can be removed from the roll and you will not be able to vote. To vote you need to re-enrol.

A relative has dementia. What should I do?

People in the early stages of dementia, who are still capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, may be able to continue to enrol and vote. You should speak with the person and with their doctor to determine if they maintain the capacity to understand the voting process. Where people may require additional support to enrol and vote, the AEC provides a range of information written in Easy English. Easy English is more accessible for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information.

If your relative has dementia and they are no longer capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, you will need to complete a form to remove their name from the electoral roll. The medical certificate on the form must be completed and signed by a registered medical practitioner. Once the form is completed please return it to the AEC.

The AEC also provides information for senior citizens.

Can I remove my name from the electoral roll?

No, it is compulsory for Australian citizens 18 years and over to enrol and vote. Once enrolled, your name and address is added to the electoral roll.

However, there are special enrolment options. For example, if you are going overseas indefinitely or permanently, you can apply to have your name removed. If you believe having your address appear on the electoral roll puts you or your family at risk, you can apply to be a silent elector.

If you have an objection to another person being on the electoral roll you should contact the AEC.

I know someone who I believe shouldn't be enrolled. What can I do?

If you believe that a person, whose name appears on the electoral roll, is not entitled to be enrolled for any of the objection reasons listed then you may notify the AEC of your objection to their enrolment by:

  • completing the objection form and lodging it with the Divisional Returning Officer for the electorate the person is enrolled in, and
  • pay a deposit of $2.00.

To object to a person's enrolment for any reason other than because the person is of unsound mind, you must be enrolled in the same electorate as the person named in your objection.

A relative has died. How do I remove their name from the roll?

If your relative has died, the AEC will remove their name from the electoral roll when we are:

  • notified by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (occurs on a monthly basis), or
  • if we are notified by a family member.

To request a relative's name be removed from the roll, complete the notification of a relative who has died form.

At election time, an update on recent deaths is obtained prior to printing the certified list of voters to ensure the electoral roll is accurate at the time of voting.

Who has access to the electoral roll?

Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the electoral roll (containing names and addresses):

  • can be publicly viewed at any AEC office
  • may be supplied to prescribed authorities, such as members of parliament, political parties, approved medical researchers, and public health programs
  • is used to maintain joint Commonwealth and state and territory electoral rolls.

The National Library of Australia in Canberra has available selected microfiche of the Commonwealth Electoral Rolls from 1901 to 2008. The library also holds a limited number of state electoral rolls on microfiche for the time prior to Federation. The state libraries and some local libraries may hold copies of electoral rolls. A guide to researching historic Australian electoral rolls is also available on the National Library of Australia website.

The current penalty for commercial use of past or current electoral rolls is 1 000 penalty units.

I don't agree with Australian electoral law, what can I do?

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 underpins the electoral process. Any changes to this law are decided by the Parliament, not by the AEC.

If you would like to recommend changes to this law, you can contact your representative in the Senate or the House of Representatives or write to the Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

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