17 May 2016 PA-CN/16/15
Australians Only Have Until 23 May to Enrol to Vote
in the 2 July Australian Federal Election
The Australian Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, announced last week that an Australian Federal Election will be held on Saturday, 2 July 2016. Australians living in India or currently visiting need to ensure they are properly enrolled and make arrangements to cast their vote – voting is compulsory for all Australians 18 years and over.
“It is important that all Australians make sure they are properly enrolled to vote,” the Consul-General for South India, Mr Sean Kelly said. “And for young Australians who have turned 18 since the last election, or who will turn 18 before polling day on 2 July, there is not much time left to enrol to vote.”
Australians can enrol to vote, or check and update their enrolment status by visiting the Australian Electoral Commission website: www.aec.gov.au. Enrolments close at 3.30pm IST on 23 May 2016.
Australians who will be in India on polling day, 2 July, can cast their ballot in one of two ways.
“The Australian Consulate-General in Chennai will operate a polling station from Monday, 20 June through until Election Day,” Mr Kelly said. “Any Australian can come and cast their vote.”
Voting hours will be from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday from Monday, 20 June to Friday, 1 July. On Election Day, Saturday 2 July, voters will be able to cast their ballots from 8.30am to 3.30pm (IST), when the polls close in Australia. The Australian Consulate-General is located at 9th Floor, Express Chambers, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai.
“Australians living overseas can also register online for postal voting, which does not require voters to come in to an Australian diplomatic mission,” Mr Kelly added. Online applications for a postal vote are available on the Australian Electoral Commission website. Note that postal vote applications must be received with enough time for the ballot papers to be sent by mail, completed and posted back to the AEC on or before election day.
Australians travellers who are overseas on Election Day and unable to lodge a vote should inform the Australian Electoral Commission of their travel plans. Australians who fail to vote will be asked to provide a 'valid and sufficient' reason why they were unable to vote, and may be subject to a fine. Travellers who explain they were unable to vote because they were overseas on Election Day will not receive a fine.