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Admin is my least favourite thing. The thought of filling out forms, as basic or mundane they might be, freaks me out. I always leave it to the last minute and end up getting so stressed I almost physically cannot bring myself to do it.
However, Australia has an election coming up and it is as important as ever to make sure you are enrolled to vote. Yes, we are the generation who hates admin, but we are also a generation who cares about our future, and we need to make sure we will have a planet to live on.
Enrolling to vote is so easy that this guide is almost pointless. It only took me eight minutes! In any case, here is a step-by-step guide, designed to ease your mind and to prove to yourself that you do not have to be scared of forms. You must be enrolled to vote by Monday April 18 so sit down, make yourself a cup of tea or grab a glass of wine, and let’s do this!
Step One - Check if you are enrolled to vote
You’ll need to check your details on the Australian Electoral Commission website. The best way to do this is to type https://check.aec.gov.au into your browser and fill out the information. If your details match a profile, you are enrolled to vote. Make sure ALL of the details are correct. If the details do not match a profile or you need to update your details, go to step two.
Step Two - Enrol to vote
Go to www.aec.gov.au/enrol, click ‘enrol to vote for the first time’ and fill out your personal details. If you need to update your details, go to ‘change my details’ and follow the prompts. It’s all basic stuﬀ, but do make sure you have your driver’s licence or passport handy. If you don’t have either of these, you will need somebody who is already on the electoral roll to confirm your identity. You then need to print out the form, get both yourself and the person confirming your identity to sign it, before returning it back to the AEC. You can also print a PDF of the form off from the website and hand it in to an AEC office. If you'd rather just do it all in person, you can visit any AEC oﬃce to complete your enrollment.
Step Three - You’re Done!
Congrats! If you have used a driver’s licence or passport, you will be able to sign electronically and then submit. You should receive a confirmation text and/or email that you are enrolled. Make sure to download your certificate so you have a record, or, even better, save it somewhere on your device where you'll be able to find it easily.
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While you are here, it might also be good to consider where you might vote and receive your all-important democracy sausage. You can vote at any polling place in your home state or territory. They open at 8am and close at 6pm sharp, so it is always good to plan out your day accordingly. The names of polling places are listed a couple of weeks before the election at www.aec.gov.au. If you find yourself in a diﬀerent state or territory and you forget to organise to vote early, you will need to find an interstate voting centre. These will also be listed on the AEC site.
If you are unable to vote in person on election day, you can apply to vote early or complete a postal vote. However, these options sadly do not come with a democracy sausage. You are eligible to do this if you are outside the electoral division where you are enrolled to vote, live more than 8kms from a polling booth, are travelling, working and unable to leave your workplace, are seriously ill or about to give birth or supporting someone who is, are a patient in hospital, have religious reasons of beliefs that mean you cannot attend a polling place, are in prison, are a silent elector, or have a reasonable fear for your safety. There is a list of early voting centres on the AEC website, which will be available in the weeks leading up to the election. If you are completing a postal vote, you will need to apply online or at an AEC oﬃce. Your postal voting pack will be mailed out after the candidates for the election are finalised. The Australian Electoral Commission has also recently confirmed it will roll-out a telephone voting system for people subject to Covid isolation orders on Election Day.
So, there you go! It’s really not that bad after all. Just remember April 18 is the cut off date for enrollment so log on ASAP and follow these basic steps. Democracy needs your voice to survive. All the information in this article and more can be found on the AEC website.