The AEC provides assistance for people living with disability to ensure they are not disadvantaged from participating in the electoral system. The AEC can assist you to enrol, vote and help you find more information. It is compulsory for all eligible Australians to enrol and vote in federal elections and referendums.
These guides explain how to enrol to vote and how to vote at a federal election.
The information in these guides is written in an easy to read way.
Pictures are used to explain some ideas.
The AEC website features the ReadSpeaker application which reads the content aloud. You can also save any content from the AEC’s website as an MP3 file. Click on the ‘Listen’ button to access the application.
If you are deaf or have hearing difficulties, you can contact the National Relay Service (NRS).
A list of polling places is made available shortly after an election is announced. Each polling place is given an accessibility rating to assist people with disabilities or mobility restrictions. These ratings are:
You can click on the rating listed against each polling place to find out more about its specific accessibility features.
If you need assistance to vote at a polling place, you can ask someone to help you. Polling place staff are trained to assist you or you can nominate any person (other than a candidate) to assist. This could be a friend, relative or another person. If you do not nominate someone, then the polling official in charge may provide assistance.
If you cannot get out of the car and the polling official in charge is satisfied that you cannot enter the polling place, someone may bring the ballot papers to you.
If you will be unable to travel to a polling place to vote at a single federal election, you can apply for a postal vote after a federal election is announced.
A voter with a disability or mobility restrictions may also be eligible to become a general postal voter and receive ballot papers in the mail for each federal election.
To complete a postal vote, the voter may choose an assistant (such as a friend or family member) to help complete the ballot papers and envelope according to the voter's instruction, but the voter must sign the envelope or make a mark as a signature.
The AEC provides mobile polling to some locations, including hospitals. These locations are available shortly after an election is announced.
Voters who are blind or have low vision can cast a vote in secret from any location, including their own homes. More information will be made available shortly after an election is announced.
Shortly after an election is announced, an official guide is made available to all Australians. It provides information on when and where to vote, assistance available at polling places and how to vote correctly.
The AEC will also provide the guide in accessible formats, including braille, audio and large print.
The lists of candidates for a federal election will be made available in accessible formats, including braille, audio and large print, shortly after an election is announced.
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 ‘Easy read guides’ 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 the Objection claim that an elector should not be enrolled 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.