Electoral communication – frequently asked questions

Updated: 30 October 2019

Electoral disinformation is a type of information spread regarding the election that could potentially deceive voters – either by design or unintentionally. It may also be called misinformation or ‘fake news’.

This election you could come across disinformation in a range of communication channels, including online - a powerful communication channel used to spread electoral information quickly and widely. Like any powerful tool, online communication channels are vulnerable to being misused to spread disinformation that can incorrectly inform voters.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 does not restrict the amount of electoral advertising by political parties or the channels in which they communicate.

In relation to text messages and telephone calls, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has previously advised that the SPAM Act and Do Not Call Register Act don’t apply to registered political parties. Political parties are also not subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988.

The AEC does not disclose the telephone numbers of electors. The AEC has no knowledge of where or how a registered political party obtains telephone numbers of electors.

Political party workers outside the polling place may give voters a how-to-vote card, suggesting you vote for a particular candidate or party.

You do not have to accept these cards. How you choose to vote is your decision. While electors may choose to follow a how-to-vote card, the final decision regarding preferences is in the hands of each elector.

Yes. Stalls can be set up outside a polling place as long as they are 6 metres from the entrance to the booth and they do not obstruct voters access to the booth.

Electoral law allows political parties or candidates to mail postal vote applications to you along with candidate and political party election campaign material. See postal voting FAQs for more information.

Back to top