Overseas voting

Each election has an enrolment deadline that occurs approximately a week after an election is announced. If you are not correctly enrolled by this deadline, you may not be able to vote.

Voting in the next federal election

The voting options for Australians who are overseas during the federal election or any federal by-election is dependent on the local COVID-19 environment.

The AEC is in regular contact with federal health authorities and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to provide the safest and most effective voting services possible in these difficult circumstances.

For most Australians overseas, it is likely that the option available to you will be to vote via post.

Completing your overseas postal vote

You will receive a postal voting pack that includes all the information you need to complete your ballot papers and return them to the AEC.

Once you receive your postal voting pack, complete and return your ballot papers as soon as possible. The AEC can only legally accept ballot papers into the count up to 13 days after election day – the sooner you complete and send your postal vote, the more likely it can be counted.

Postal arrangement with DFAT

With the majority of Australians overseas likely needing to cast their vote via post, the AEC is working with DFAT to put in place measures to speed up the return of completed postal voting ballot papers to the AEC.

The instructions in your overseas postal voting pack may include the ability to return your ballot papers to the local embassy who will swiftly verify the material and forward it to the AEC in Australia. This minimises the time your completed postal voting pack is in an overseas mail system.

Unable to vote

Voting in a federal election is not compulsory for Australians overseas. If you are unable to vote you should complete and submit an overseas notification form.

If you do not inform the AEC, we will write to you asking you to explain why you did not vote.

Can I vote online?

No. Australia’s electoral laws do not allow for online voting.

Further information

Contact the AEC from overseas:

Updated: 3 August 2021
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