A how-to-vote card is a printed guide prepared by a party, group, independent candidate, or others, that shows how they want you to fill out your ballot paper. They are sometimes referred to by the acronym 'HTVC'.
A single how-to-vote card has voting instructions for one district or one region only. Anyone can register a single how-to-vote card, including:
- independent candidates
- registered political parties
- registered Upper House groups
- community groups
- trade unions
- members of the public.
A how-to-vote card must be registered with us and be properly authorised if it is:
- handed out within 400 metres of a voting centre on election day
- distributed by our mobile voting teams.
A how-to-vote card doesn't have to be registered with us, but must be still properly authorised if it is:
- handed out more than 400 metres from a voting centre on election day
- handed out at an early voting centre.
There are penalties for how-to-vote cards that are incorrectly authorised.
How-to-vote card registration
How-to-vote card registrations for the 2022 State election open on Monday 14 November and close at 12 noon on Friday 18 November.
A step by step guide for registering a how-to-vote is available in the candidate handbook.
Independent candidates, groups, and others
You must make an appointment with the election manager of the district or region your how-to-vote card represents.
If your card is for a region (also referred to as the Upper House or the Legislative Council), it can be submitted with any election manager in the region.
Election office and election manager details will be available on this website from Wednesday 2 November.
Detailed information on the registration process is available in the candidate handbook.
Registered political parties
Political parties register their how-to-vote cards directly with our head office. We will provide more information on the submission process directly to each party.
How-to-vote card requirements
Prepare your how-to-vote card carefully. You must submit a final, print-ready digital copy (PDF only) and 2 final hard copies for approval. Files under 4MB are preferred.
Follow the how-to-vote card applicant checklist carefully to avoid delays in registering your how-to-vote card.
Authorising your how-to-vote card
All how-to-vote cards must have an authorisation in the footer. This provides transparency around who is encouraging you to vote in a certain way and who has printed it.
The authorisation must include:
- the name of the person authorising the card (this can be a person or group)
- the street address of the person authorising the card (you cannot list a PO box but you can use a business address)
- the business name and address of the company that printed the how-to-vote card.
If the card has been registered by us, it must also contain a statement that says, ‘Registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission’.
The format must be:
Authorised by [name and street address of authoriser, not a PO Box]
Printed by [name and address of business]
Registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission.
If your card goes over more than one page, the ‘Registered by’ part of the endorsement must appear only on pages that contain how-to-vote instructions.
The statement ‘Registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission’ must not appear on any cards that have not been registered. This includes any cards being handed out at early voting centres.
Read more about authorising a how-to-vote card in the candidate handbook.
Authorisations must appear in all languages that appear on your how-to-vote card, and English. For example, if your card has instructions in both English and Vietnamese, the authorisation statement must appear in English and Vietnamese.
If your how-to-vote card is entirely in another language the authorisation statement must appear in all languages as well as English. For example, a card written in Traditional and Simplified Chinese must have authorisation in Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and English.
You must provide a translation of any non-English text alongside your how-to-vote card when you submit it to us for registration.
Photographs and quotes
We are not responsible for regulating any photographs or quotes on your how-to-vote card unless they are:
- likely to mislead or deceive a voter in the casting of their vote.
We strongly advise you to gain permission from anyone whose quote or photograph you use on your card before you submit it to avoid time-consuming disputes.
We will not check whether you have gained permission for photographs or quotes, this is your responsibility.
You must complete and submit a how-to-vote card declaration form for each how-to-vote card you want to register.
On this form you must state your identity and the party, organisation, or person on whose behalf the card will be distributed. It also declares the fairness of the translation of the card in a language other than English.
There are serious penalties for providing a false declaration.
The declaration form will be in the Candidate kit. Candidate kits will be available to download from this website from early October, or you can pick up a hardcopy from an election office from Wednesday 2 November.
Registered political parties must complete a declaration form for each type of how-to-vote card they submit. For more information on this, refer to the candidate handbook.
How-to-vote card archive
You can browse an archive of all how-to-vote cards registered for the 2018 State election.
This archive will be available until 5 pm on Friday 7 October. After this time, we will remove it so there is no overlap between this archive and the how-to-vote cards registered for the 2022 State election.