What if I didn't vote?
Didn’t vote in the October 2016 local council elections?
‘Apparent failure to vote’ notices are now being sent to people who appear not to have voted in the 2016 council elections. This notice is not a fine—it is an opportunity for you to explain why you didn’t vote.
Do not ignore this notice. If you have a reason for not voting then provide a detailed statement on the form. Then return it within 28 days of the notice date.
If your excuse for failing to vote or explanation of why you did vote is considered sufficient then no further action will be taken and you will not be fined.
Who must vote?
You must vote in council elections for your primary residence, where you are enrolled on the State electoral roll.
You will not be fined for not voting if you:
- own a property and are on the voters roll in a council area that you don’t live in*
- are a council-enrolled voter*
- were aged 70 years or over on 22 October 2016.
*Voting is compulsory for all voters under 70 enrolled for Melbourne City Council elections.
What if I don’t respond or provide a valid excuse?
If you do not respond to the apparent failure to vote notice or if the excuse you provide is not considered sufficient, you will receive an infringement notice with a fine of $78 (half a penalty unit).
You must pay this fine or take other action within 42 days of receiving the infringement notice. The matter will become more serious and costly if you ignore this notice.
You have the following options if you receive an infringement notice:
- pay your fine
- request an internal review
- have the matter heard court.
Information on how to seek legal assistance is also available.
What if I fail to pay the fine?
If you do not pay your fine on time then you will be sent a ‘penalty reminder’ notice, requiring you to pay the fine plus costs ($22.60). This notice will give you a further 42 days to pay or take other action.
The same rights and responsibilities and payment options apply to a penalty reminder notice as an infringement notice.
If you do not pay your fine during this ‘penalty reminder’ stage, your details will be provided to the Infringements Court (external link) for further action. The Infringements Court will convert the notice into an enforcement order.
I need more assistance
Call 1300 551 575 during business hours to speak to a customer service representative.