Federal Election: How to cast your vote early

With the Federal Election less than a fortnight away, early voting centres are opening up across the nation for those who are unable to head to a polling centre on May 21.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website has a detailed list of options for voters wanting to cast their vote, including a list of early voting centres open across the country and in some overseas locations.

Woman walks past election signs at polling place
You don't have to wait until May 21 to have your say in the Federal Election, with plenty of polling places open early and other ways to cast your vote. Photo: AP

When can I vote if I can’t get to a polling booth on 21 May?

Early voting opened Monday May 9 for people not able to physically attend a polling centre for various reasons on May 21.

The AEC website states you are eligible to vote early if you:

  • Are outside the electorate where you are enrolled to vote

  • Are more than 8km from a polling place

  • Are travelling

  • Are unable to leave your workplace to vote

  • Are seriously ill, infirm or due to give birth shortly (or caring for someone who is)

  • Are a patient in hospital and can't vote at the hospital

  • Have religious beliefs that prevent you from attending a polling place

  • Are in prison serving a sentence of less than three years or otherwise detained

  • Are a silent elector

  • Have a reasonable fear for your safety or wellbeing

Election banner
Election banner

Where can I vote if I need to vote early?

The AEC has opened more than 500 early voting centres across Australia. You can find a centre on the AEC website here.

Man with baby walks past polling place
Find a pre-polling centre near you from Monday May 9. Photo: Getty Images

What if I can't physically get to a voting centre?

Australians who may not be able to get to an early voting centre can do a postal vote. You will need to apply for a postal vote as soon as possible on the AEC website here to ensure you receive your ballot papers in time.

What if I'm overseas on election day?

If you are out of the country on polling day there are a number of voting centres available. The AEC encourages people to register for a postal vote if overseas in case there isn’t a centre near you. For a list of overseas voting centres go here.

What other options do I have to vote early?

The AEC has a number of mobile polling teams standing by to visit any voters who are not able to get to a polling place during the election period. The mobile teams can visit places like aged care facilities, hospitals or remote areas of Australia. The locations the mobile teams service are accessible here.

The AEC also has telephone voting available for those who are blind or vision impaired. To register for the service got to the AEC website.

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