Out on a business trip or heading to one ahead of the 7 September vote? Or maybe holidaying? You can still cast your votes – on Australian soil or overseas, or even at airports. Just do it early to avoid a last-minute snag.
That is the advice coming from the Australian Electoral Commission, days before the vote.
“From Argentina to Zimbabwe, Auckland to Zagreb, Australians who are enrolled to vote, but will be overseas on 7 September, can cast their vote now,” said Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn.
“Don’t leave voting to the last minute and don’t assume our overseas diplomatic missions are open on election day in Australia, even if they share a similar time zone. Go online now and plan your best voting option. Please also be aware that you may need to show identification when visiting diplomatic missions,” he added.
Once polling closes at 6 p.m. (Western Australia time) on 7 September (Saturday), voting cannot take place anywhere else in the world, according to federal election rules.
According to Killesteyn, the easiest way to cast a vote overseas is in-person at one of the 102 Australian diplomatic missions around the world that offer voting services. Check here to find the centre nearest to you.
Alternatively, if you’re about to travel overseas you can vote early at one of approximately 500 locations around Australia, including major airports. Check here to explore your options.
With less than 72 hours left, postal voting is obviously no longer an option. That is because “it automatically triggers ballot papers being mailed from Australia to your overseas address, increasing the prospect of postal voting materials arriving too late to your overseas address.”
In the last federal election in 2010, 72,306 votes were issued overseas at Australian diplomatic missions. London was the largest polling centre, with 16,041 votes. Hong Kong (7,797) and Singapore (3,277) were the second and third busiest overseas polling places.