How to complete your ballot paper & how preferences work

Updated: 11 May 2022

The basics:

  • Around 7,000 polling places will be in operation across the country on election day and open from 8am to 6pm local time
  • Early voting is available up until Friday 20 May for people who cannot make it on election day.
  • Find your nearest early voting centre or polling place at
  • A range of COVID safety measures will be in place to help protect election workers and voters – see
  • Visiting a polling place has more safety measures in place than a visit to your local shops – follow the required health directions in place in your jurisdiction and our staff will be there to assist.
  • Unsure how to complete your ballot paper? Go to

How preferential voting works:

Preferential voting is a system that requires a voter to indicate their order of preference for candidates or parties on each of their ballot papers. In simple terms – voters can ask themselves who they most and least want in Parliament representing them.

Votes are transferred, if needed, according to the preferences marked on the ballot paper. The count always follows the numbers and the power is always with the voter.

For the House of Representatives, when votes are transferred it is at their full value – this means you cannot ‘waste your vote’. If a voter’s first preference doesn’t get enough votes to be one of the top two candidates their vote transfers at full value until it is counted towards that final decision.

For the Senate, there are no ‘preference tickets’. Voters and voters alone control where their preferences go.

Editor’s notes: