Friday 6 March 2015
For immediate release

VEC asks non-voters to explain

Letters will be sent to almost 200,000 Victorians this week, asking them to explain why they did not vote at last year’s State election.

An ‘Apparent failure-to-vote’ notice for the State election will be mailed from today, giving electors an opportunity to provide their reason for not voting and, potentially, avoid a fine.

There is no infringement penalty attached to the notice.

Recipients of the Apparent Failure to Vote notice are advised not to ignore the letter as those who fail to reply may be issued with an infringement notice carrying a $74 fine.

Voting in the State election was compulsory for all voters enrolled on the State electoral roll at 8.00 pm on Tuesday 11 November 2014.

Media enquiries:

Mary Sammut
Communication Officer
Victorian Electoral Commission
Phone: (03) 8620 1190


Notes to editors:

  • An election’s turnout figure does not represent the number of fines issued for failing to vote, i.e. letters being sent to 200,000 voters does not equate to 200,000 fines. For example, for the 2010 State election, only 63 per cent of non-voters were followed up with an Infringement notice.
  • A large proportion of Apparent Failure to Vote notices are returned with valid and sufficient reasons for not voting.
  • The VEC cannot provide a list of what constitutes a valid and sufficient reason for obvious reasons.
  • Compulsory voting enforcement in Victoria comprises three phases:
  1. Apparent Failure to Vote Notice. This notice requires non-voters to provide an excuse for their apparent failure to vote. There is no infringement attached to this notice and recipients have 28 days to respond.
  2. Infringement Notice. This notice will be sent to electors who did not respond to the Apparent Failure to Vote Notice, or who did not provide a valid and sufficient excuse for failing to vote. An infringement (a fine of $74) is attached to this notice and non-voters have 42 days to respond.
  3. Penalty Reminder Notice. This notice will be sent only to electors who did not respond to the Infringement Notice. An amount for prescribed costs is added to the original penalty amount ($74 penalty, plus $23.80 for costs) and recipients have 42 days to respond. If at the completion of the penalty reminder stage the non-voter has not paid the fine, their details may be provided to the Infringements Court for further action.