How to vote

Voting in local council elections in Victoria this October will be by post.

We will post ballot packs to enrolled voters between Tuesday 6 October and Thursday 8 October 2020.

The ballot pack will contain:

  • a ballot paper attached to statements and photographs lodged by the candidates in your council or ward
  • a ballot paper envelope with a flap
  • voting instructions
  • a reply-paid envelope.

Completing and returning your vote

Follow the instructions on the ballot pack and make sure your completed vote is in the mail or hand-delivered to your election office before 6 pm on Friday 23 October 2020.

Local mail clearance times vary. Check your local mail clearance times so your vote is in the mail on time.

Who must vote?

You must vote if you are a State-enrolled voter as at 4 pm on Friday 28 August 2020.

You must also vote if you are a council-enrolled voter in the City of Melbourne as at 4 pm on Friday 28 August 2020.

If you do not vote, you may be fined.

Do people over 70 have to vote?

It is no longer optional for people aged 70 or over to vote, following changes to the law for the 2020 local council elections. If you do not vote, you may get a fine.

If you care for a person who is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of voting, read Removing someone from the roll.

If you will be away from your address

You will be able to request to have your ballot pack sent to a different address if:

  • you will be away when ballot packs are mailed (after Tuesday 6 October)
    or
  • your mailing address will change after the close of rolls (Friday 28 August).

Details on how to request a replacement ballot pack will be available on this website from 6 October.

Can't receive mail?

If you are overseas and will not be able to receive mail while you are away, you can notify us by completing an 'Away from Victoria' notification form below and keep evidence of your trip.

You can complete this form online via Check my enrolment

Or download an 'Away from Victoria' notification form

Council-enrolled voters

If you are a council-enrolled voter, we encourage you to vote, but you won’t be fined if you don’t (except for Melbourne City Council, where all enrolled voters must vote).

Find out more about council-enrolled voters

Contact your council if you have any questions.

People who own more than one property

Each enrolled voter has one vote per council.

If you own properties across different councils 

You will get one ballot pack for each council.

You must vote for your State-enrolled address. It is optional for you to vote for any properties you own in other councils, unless one is located within the City of Melbourne.

If you own properties within the same council

You will get one ballot pack for that council.

If you are a State-enrolled voter in an address in that council, you must vote for your enrolled address only.

If you are a council-enrolled voter for more than one address in the same council, you will get one ballot pack only.

Contact your council if you have any questions.

Researching candidates

At election time it's important to find out where each candidate stands on the issues you care about.
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How do I find out about candidates?

At election time, you may see advertising or information for candidates running in the election.

These candidates have different opinions. So it’s important to find out where they stand on the issues you care about.

You can do that in a few different ways.

Start by finding out who is running as a candidate in your area by going to the VEC website at vec.vic.gov.au

There you will find contact information for the candidates, such as their phone numbers, websites, and email addresses if they have provided them.

It’s a good idea to check out their websites if they have one, and email or call them to ask questions if you are still not clear on their views.

Be aware that any advertising is professionally crafted, so you should look at independent news articles, interviews, debates, and editorials from sources you trust to get a more detailed picture of the candidate.

In the end, you need to make your own decision.

Remember, voting is how you get to have a say about what happens in Victoria, make your vote count.

Help for voters who need it

Information in languages other than English

We have translated information in 20 languages. If you need information in a language we haven’t translated, you can call our free interpreter service.

Find information in your language

Large print or braille ballot packs

Registration for large print or braille ballot packs has closed. Please call 131 832 if you have any queries.

Easy English guides

Easy English is information in simple sentences with supporting pictures. These guides help people who have difficulty reading.

Easy English guides

Voter education sessions

We can provide online sessions to community groups anywhere in Victoria. Our sessions can cover how elections work and help people check their details and enrol to vote.

Book an information session

Prisoners

People serving a prison sentence of less than five years are registered to vote for the address they were enrolled at the time of their conviction and will be sent a ballot pack to their mailing address on the roll. Electoral material is exempt from examination.

Enrol to vote or update your details as a prisoner in Victoria.