What if I didn't vote?

In Victoria voting is compulsory and you may be fined if you do not vote.

Didn’t vote?

Step 1: Apparent Failure to Vote Notice

We will send you an Apparent Failure to Vote Notice if it appears you did not vote in:

  • Knox City Council by-election (30 March)
  • Hepburn Shire by-election (30 March)
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council by-election (30 March).

An Apparent Failure to Vote Notice is your opportunity to explain why you didn’t vote.

You must respond to this notice within 28 days.

Step 2: Infringement Notice (a fine)

You will receive an Infringement Notice with a fine if you did not vote in the 2018 State election (24 November 2018) and:

  • you did not respond to an Apparent Failure to Vote notice sent in March
  • your excuse for not voting was not considered valid and sufficient.

You have 28 days to pay the fine or take other action. See What are my options?

The fine for not voting is $81.00 as at 1 July 2018.

This amount is indexed at the beginning of every financial year (1 July).

Step 3: Penalty reminder notice

If you do not pay your fine by the due date on the Infringement Notice, or take other action to deal with it, you will be:

  • issued with a Penalty Reminder Notice
  • required to pay the original fine plus a penalty reminder fee of $25.10
  • required to pay or take other action by the due date on the Penalty Reminder Notice.

The VEC will issue Penalty Reminder Notices for the 2018 State election in July 2019.

What are my options?

If you receive an Infringement Notice or a Penalty Reminder Notice, you have the following options.

The notice will contain all the payment options.

You can pay:

  • at any Australia Post outlet
  • using BPAY phone or internet banking
    Biller code: 120279
    Reference number as shown on your infringement notice
  • posting a bank cheque/money order to
    Victorian Electoral Commission
    Reply Paid 76032
    Melbourne VIC 8060
    (include your name, address, phone number and infringement number)
  • in person at the VEC head office
    Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne.

If you are having difficulty paying your fine in full and on time, you can apply for a payment plan or payment extension.

The VEC will assess applications on a case-by-case basis. Your application may be assessed based on your:

  • outstanding fine amount
  • income
  • financial status
  • payment history
  • any hardship that you are experiencing.

All requests must be made in writing and include the following:

  • infringement number
  • name, address and contact number
  • reason for request.

To apply, download an Application for a payment plan form (PDF, 1.2MB)

Complete it and return it by email to cv@vec.vic.gov.au or post it to Reply Paid 76032, Melbourne VIC 8060.

Call 1300 551 575 for more information.

You can request an internal review if you believe:

  • the decision was contrary to law
  • there has been a mistake of identity
  • you were unaware of the notice and it was not personally given to you
  • you had special or exceptional circumstances.

For more information see Internal reviews and special circumstances

To make a request for a review, download the Application for internal review form (PDF, 738kB)

Complete it and return it by email to cv@vec.vic.gov.au or post it to Reply Paid 76032, Melbourne VIC 8060.

Call 1300 551 575 for more information.

You have the right to take your matter to the Magistrates’ Court for it to be determined at a formal hearing. If you elect to go to court, a magistrate will decide the case and any appropriate penalty.

For more information see Electing to go to court

Referral to Fines Victoria

If you do not pay or take action to deal with a Penalty Reminder notice, the VEC will refer your matter to Fines Victoria

When a matter is with Fines Victoria, the VEC cannot consider requests for payment plans, payment extensions or internal review requests.

More information

If you are unsure about what to do, or need more information call 1300 551 575.