How to enrol and vote in the 2013 Australian election from the UK

A how-to guide for Australians living in London and the UK on how to enrol, register as an overseas voter or take your name off the election roll.
Information on how to vote in the UK for the 2013 Australian federal election, in person at Australia House or by postal vote.

 
 

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ELIGIBLE Australians living or visiting the UK are being urged to act  to ensure they are enrolled to vote by the deadline of 8pm Monday 12 August 2013 (11am UK time).

“If you’ve been overseas for less than three years and intend to return within six years of your date of departure from Australia, you are still eligible to enrol to vote for the federal election,” the Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn said.

To vote in the 7 September 2013 election, Australians overseas must be enrolled to vote. Australians can check their current enrolment details at oevf.aec.gov.au.

Australians who are overseas and are not yet enrolled to vote:

If you are not enrolled to vote you can fill out an ‘Enrol to vote for federal elections from outside Australia’ form.

You can use this form to enrol to vote if you are currently living outside Australia and:

  • you are not currently enrolled, and
  • you are an Australian citizen, or a British subject who was  enrolled on 25 January 1984, and
  • you are 18 years or older, and
  • you departed Australia within the last three years and intend to return within six years of your date of departure from Australia.

See below for how to submit your form to the AEC.

Australians living overseas who are enrolled to vote in Australia:

If you will be out of Australia for a longer period, you may be eligible to register as an eligible overseas elector. Eligible overseas electors will be given the option of registering as a general postal voter which means they will automatically receive a postal vote in the mail for each election or referendum.

You can apply up to three months before, or within three years after, you leave Australia.

You can apply to be registered as an overseas elector if:

  • you are already enrolled to vote in federal elections, and
  • you intend to return within six years of leaving Australia.

This will ensure that your name is not removed from the electoral roll while you are outside Australia and that you can vote in federal elections and referendums held while you are overseas.

See below for how to submit your form to the AEC.

Australians who are overseas indefinitely, or cannot vote while overseas:

Australians who are overseas indefinitely, or are temporarily absent from Australia and unable to vote, can fill out an overseas notification form.

Filling out this form will mean you will not vote in the 7 September 2013 election.

The overseas notification form is for either:

  • An Australian who is overseas indefinitely and wants to be removed from the electoral roll;
  • An Australian who is temporarily absent from Australia and may not be able to vote while overseas. Your name will be retained on the electoral roll while you are absent.

See below for how to submit your form to the AEC.

How do you return your signed form to the AEC?

For Australians in the UK a quicker alternative to post is offered by the AEC:

  • Fax your signed form to your local AEC office. There is an option on the website to find the correct fax number for your local AEC office.
  • Upload your scanned signed form to the AEC using their upload function. This can be found at aec.gov.au/enrol/send-form.htm.
How do I vote in the UK?

If you are currently enrolled there are two ways to vote from the UK

1.   Vote in person at the voting centre at Australia House.

Pre-poll voting services will be offered by the Australian High Commission, which is located at Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA (corner of Aldwych and Strand).

The High Commission will be open for pre-poll voting during the following times:

Date                                         Opening Hours
Monday 26 August 2013               11:00 — 19:30
Tuesday 27 August 2013              11:00 — 19:30
Wednesday 28 August 2013         11:00 — 19:30
Thursday 29 August 2013             11:00 — 19:30
Friday 30 August 2013                 11:00 — 19:30
Saturday 31 August 2013             10:00 — 18:00
Sunday 1 September 2013              CLOSED
Monday 2 September 2013           11:00 — 19:30
Tuesday 3 September 2013          11:00 — 19:30
Wednesday 4 September 2013     11:00 — 19:30
Thursday 5 September 2013         11:00 — 21:00
Friday 6 September 2013             11:00 — 21:00

Pre-poll voting will not be available on Saturday 7 September 2013 due to the time difference between London and the closing of polls at 18:00 Australian Western Standard Time (AWST).

See the Australian High Commission website for more information. 

       2.   Submit a postal vote.  

Postal vote applications can be submitted up until Thursday 5 September 2013. The AEC will send out ballot papers to a nominated address after candidate nominations close on Thursday 15 August 2013.

Ballot papers must be completed and posted back to the AEC on or before election day. You only have 13 days after the election for your ballot papers to be received by the AEC.

To apply for a postal vote you will need to:

  • provide your current enrolment details
  • confirm the address you want your ballot paper mailed to, and
  • declare you are eligible to apply for a postal vote.

To apply for a postal vote see aec.gov.au/election/pva/

If registering as an overseas elector (see above) or you enrol to vote from outside Australia (see above) the form will provide an option to elect to submit a postal vote. The ballot paper will be mailed to the address specified in the form.

At the 2010 federal election, 72 306 votes were issued at overseas posts, including 16 041 in London and 7 797 in Hong Kong.

*Please note: The following information was correct at the time of publication and is subject change. Consult the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website for the latest information.

 
 
 

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Editor and writer at Australian Times. Leaving the world of law behind, Alex found a way to take advantage of London’s amazing capacity for reinvention and now writes, blogs and waxes lyrical on all things UK related. Whether temporary or permanent, professional or traveller, Alex hopes Australian Times can provide a unique voice for the perspectives of the Australian community in the UK.

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