If you're overseas on the day of a federal election, you can still have your say.
You can apply for a postal vote if you're overseas during an election. You can also cast your vote at some Australian embassies and consulates overseas.
Voting is compulsory in Australia. But being overseas is a valid reason for not voting. If you can't vote because you're overseas, you'll need to advise the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Check your enrolment
If an election is announced while you're overseas, check with the AEC:
- the enrolment deadlines
- your enrolment status
- your details on the electoral roll
- overseas voting options
To vote while overseas, you must be on the electoral roll. To check your enrolment, use the AEC website.
See the AEC's information on enrolling to vote overseas.
Voting by post
If you're travelling overseas short-term, you may be able to vote early (either in-person or by post) before you leave Australia. You can apply for a postal vote when an election is called.
If you're living or working overseas, you may be able to register as an overseas elector. You must intend to return to Australia within 6 years and have an Australian address to register. You can choose to become a general postal voter at the time of registering or at a separate time.
Voting at an Australian embassy or consulate
You can vote at some Australian embassies or consulates overseas. The AEC provides a list of places where you can vote when an election is called.
Not all embassies or consulates can take votes. Contact your nearest embassy or consulate to find out
- if they are offering in-person voting
- their opening dates and hours for voting
- if you need to make an appointment to vote
- their security or entry requirements, especially in high-risk locations
Check your enrolment before going to vote. You need to know which Australian address you're enrolled at to get the correct ballot papers.
State and territory elections
Some states and territories allow overseas voting. Others don't or may only allow specific voting methods.
Check the electoral commission website for your state or territory for more information.
- See our Consular Services Charter to see what services we can provide Australians overseas.
- See our advice about living and working overseas.
- When an election is called, check the website of your nearest Australian embassy or consulate to find out if you can vote there (DFAT).
- See advice on voting while overseas and voting by post (AEC).
- Find out about state or territory elections (Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand).