Federal Election 2019: Where to vote – a state by state guide

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor

After five weeks of campaigning Australians head to the polls on Saturday to elect the next government to run the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have been racing around the nation trying to convince us why they should be trusted with the top job.

There are 151 seats up for grabs in the 2019 federal election with certain seats tipped to play a major role in determining which party earns the right to govern the country.

Where can I vote?

Designated polling places, mostly schools, churches, surf clubs and community halls, will be open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday.

So where are the best places to vote in the most prominent electorates this year?

New South Wales polling booths

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott returns to contest the Mid North Coast electorate of Cowper, which is being vacated by retiring Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker. Mr Oakeshott previously held the neighbouring seat of Lyne which helped deliver Julia Gillard minority government in 2010.

In a tight battle for Cowper, Mr Oakeshott faces the Nationals' Patrick Conaghan in the marginal NSW mid-north coast seat.

Cowper locations: Vote at Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and surrounding towns. Check here for where the polling booths are.

Independent Rob Oakeshott, pictured, will be hoping to win the seat of Cowper in the 2019 federal election. Source: AAP
Rob Oakeshott will be hoping to win the seat of Cowper. Source: AAP

Former prime minister Tony Abbott's Sydney northern beaches seat of Warringah would not normally be in a list like this but he is facing stiff opposition including independent and former Winter Olympian Zali Steggall.

Warringah locations: Vote at booths around the Lower North Shore and Manly districts. To see all polling booths in Warringah check back here.

Federal election Wentworth candidate Kerryn Phelps, pictured, won the seat after the retirement of Malcolm Turnbull. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
Crossbench MP Kerryn Phelps will battle to retain the 1.2 per cent margin seat. Source: AAP

In Malcolm Turnbull’s former Sydney eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth, independent Kerryn Phelps will face a battle to retain the 1.2 per cent margin inner Sydney seat against former diplomat and Liberal representative Dave Sharma.

Phelps beat Sharma in a recent by-election to replace former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Wentworth locations: Vote at Paddington, Bondi, Double Bay and surrounding suburbs. For the full list of polling booths visit here.

Victoria polling booths

Labor's Michael Danby is retiring after more than 20 years in the seat of Mcnamara. Josh Burns will represent Labor in a battle with the Liberals' Kate Ashmor, a local lawyer, and the Greens' Steph Hodgins-May, who in 2016 came within 477 votes of taking the seat.

Mcnamara locations: Vote at Caulfield North, St Kilda and Port Melbourne. Find all places where you can vote here.

Liberal Member for La Trobe Jason Wood speaks to the media in Melbourne ahead of the 2019 federal election.  (AAP Image/ Stefan Postles)
La Trobe MP Jason Wood has been the sitting member since 2004. Source: AAP

The Liberals' Jason Wood has been the on-again off-again member for La Trobe since 2004.

A redistribution appears to have strengthened his hand but a 3.5 per cent margin still makes it a target seat for Labor, whose candidate is Simon Curtis.

Labor has campaigned strongly on school funding in the outer metropolitan seat which has a mixed bag of industries from farming to construction and tourism.

La Trobe locations: Berwick and Pakenham will be popular spots to vote. For all polling locations check here.

Independent Cathy McGowan is retiring from this regional Victorian seat on Indi, but her formidable campaign team is swinging behind health researcher Helen Haines, who faces stiff competition from Steve Martin of the Liberals and Mark Byatt of the Nationals.

Indi locations: Wodonga and Wangaratta will be popular voting centres. Also vote at Beechworth, Yackandandah and Myrtleford. For a full list of polling booths check here.

Queensland polling booths

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has held the seat of Dickson in Brisbane’s north since 2001, but the margin has narrowed after the 2016 election and subsequent redistribution.

Grass-roots campaigning by GetUp and others is putting pressure on Dutton, who was hit by a 5.1 per cent swing in 2016. Labor's Ali France will require a strong showing from the Greens' Benedict Coyne to win.

Dickson locations: Vote at Samford Village, Kallangur, Strathpine, Warner, Everton Park. For the full list of polling booths visit here.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton campaigning in the seat of Dickson in Brisbane ahead of the 2019 federal election.
Grass-roots campaigning by GetUp and others is putting pressure on Peter Dutton. Source: AAP

Longman in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay region was won by Labor's Susan Lamb in 2016 and retained in a July 2018 by-election (over her dual citizenship) with a 4.45 per cent margin. LNP has preselected local businessman Terry Young. Small business, jobs, horticulture, roads are key issues.

Longman locations: Burpengary, Caboolture and Narangba are key voting centres. To see all voting locations check here.

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten eats a sausage sandwich at Strathfield during the 2016 federal election. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten tucks into a sausage sandwich on election day in 2016. Source: AAP

Flynn is a huge central Queensland seat based on the port of Gladstone held by LNP's Ken O'Dowd. He has been sitting member since 2010. Coal, gas, grain, cattle are the key businesses. Labor's Zac Beers is a strong chance of winning.

Flynn locations: Gladstone on the coast, and Emerald in the west are among the many booths scattered throughout the electorate. Find a full list of polling booths here.

South Australia polling booths

Liberal’s Nicolle Flint won the Adelaide seat of Boothby in 2016 after the retirement of Andrew Southcott. Labor has been targeting Flint over her support for a leadership spill against Malcolm Turnbull. It has preselected local Nadia Clancy.

Boothby locations: Centres include Black Forest, Blackwood and Glenelg. Check the full list of polling booths here.

South Australian MP Rebekha Sharkie arrives during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
MP Rebekha Sharkie will be challenged by a Liberal candidate for the seat of Mayo. Source: AAP

First-term Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie retained the Adelaide Hills and SA coast seat of Mayo in a by-election after being struck down in the citizenship scandal. She faces another challenge from Liberal blue-blood Georgina Downer.

Mayo locations: Mount Barker and Blackwood will have several polling booths open. Find the full list visit of polling booths here.

Western Australia polling booths

The Perth metropolitan seat of Hasluck has been held by federal minister Ken Wyatt since 2010. But his margin has been chipped away to 2.1 per cent and is being challenged by Labor candidate James Martin.

Hasluck locations: Some schools in Forresfield, Stratton and Swan View will be open for voters. For the full list of polling booths check here.

Attorney-General Christian Porter during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Attorney-General Christian Porter is a likely winner of his Western Australian seat of Pearce. Source: AAP

Attorney-General Christian Porter has a reasonable chance of holding the northern Perth seat of Pearce, which he first won in 2013, but Labor has made inroads at a state level as young families move into new suburbs.

Labor's Kim Travers spent almost three decades in the police service and is a long-time mental health advocate.

Pearce locations: Banksia Grove, Butler and Clarkson will have the most polling booths open in the electorate. For all voting locations visit here.

Tasmania polling booths

This northeastern Tasmanian seat of Bass has swung wildly in recent elections being won by Labor's Ross Hart in 2016.

Both the Liberals and Nationals are running candidates which will ensure a strong conservative preference swap. A double-digit Greens primary vote is not out of the question.

Bass locations: Invermay, Launceston and George Town will all have voting centres. For a full list of polling booths visit here.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the West Australian Liberal Party campaign rally in Perth ahead of the federal election. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will face off with Bill Shorten come election day. Source: AAP

ACT and Northern Territory polling booths

The electorate of Solomon in Darwin is held by Labor’s Luke Gosling, but with the state Labor government becoming unpopular there may be a swing towards Liberals’ Kathy Ganley.

Solomon polling booths: Voting centres will be scattered throughout Darwin and Plamerston. For a full list of polling booth locations check here.

The new seat of Bean has been created in the ACT, making it the territory’s largest seat taking areas from the electorate of Canberra including the district of Tuggeranong in the capital’s south.

David Smith is favoured to win the new seat for Labor, but Liberal’s Ed Cocks is hoping for an upset.

Bean polling booths: Vote at Wanniassa, Calwell and all suburbs in Canberra’s south. A full list of locations can be found here.

Where can I vote early?

Aussies have had the option to put in their vote early from April 29 in person or by post.

Voters can check the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website for early polling booths in their area, but they must be eligible.

Those outside of an electorate on election day, more than eight kilometres from a polling place, are unable to leave their workplace or seriously ill can vote early.

A hospital patient or a person with religious beliefs preventing them from attending a polling place can also vote early.

Those wanting to vote via the post have to apply before 6pm on May 15 and completed ballot papers must be witnessed on or before election day and posted to the AEC.

Can I vote online?

While those who voted in the recent NSW election had the option to cast their ballot through iVote if they were eligible, online voting is not available for the federal election.

Phil Diak, from the Australian Electoral Commission, told 2BG radio voting online would require a change in electoral law.

“Parliament has looked at it, but it hasn’t gone through at this stage,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at  Launceston Town Hall on Tuesday ahead of the federal election.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held the position of Prime Minister since August 2018. Source: AAP

Can I vote if I am interstate or overseas?

Australian voters living out of the country who are intending to return within six years can register as an overseas elector.

Those already enrolled can apply up to three months before, or within three years after leaving Australia to be eligible for a postal vote.

Voting in Australia is compulsory and those who are planning to be out of the country on a holiday have to apply for a postal vote, or vote in person in Australia before they travel.

Those who have forgotten can contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for details on how to vote.

Those overseas who are unable to vote can fill out an overseas notification form and return it to the AEC.

Those who are travelling out of the state they are enrolled in on election day will have to visit an interstate voting centre to cast their ballot.

Voters still in the same state they are enrolled can go to any polling booth in the state and post an absentee vote.

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten speaks to the media at the University of Tasmania ahead of the 2019 federal election.
Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is gunning to be the next Prime Minister. Source: AAP

What is the fine for not voting?

Those who choose not to vote in Saturday’s federal election risk copping a fine.

While the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) doesn’t look kindly on non-voting, the fine for failing to vote this Saturday is a surprisingly low $20.

Those who who are eligible to vote and fail to do so will be slapped with a fine.

Non-voters will receive a penalty notice, but can appeal the fine to the Divisional Returning Officer if they believe they have a valid reason for failing to vote, or believe they were unable to vote.

With AAP

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