The Australian Electoral Commission is urging expat voters to get their ballots in early to make sure their vote counts in the 2016 federal election.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the easiest way to vote if you are overseas was in-person at one of the 94 overseas Aussie voting centres around the world.
The locations and opening hours for overseas voting centres, including Australia House in London, and links to the websites of participating Australian diplomatic missions are available at aec.gov.au/overseas.
“Australians who are enrolled but will be overseas on Saturday 2 July should plan ahead of time to make sure they can cast their vote,” Mr Rogers said.
He also warned expat Aussies to not leave it till Election Day on 2 July because many of the overseas voting centres will be closed by then and they will miss their chance to have their say.
At the 2013 federal election over 75,000 votes were cast by Australians overseas. Australia House in London was the busiest expat polling booth with just over 15,000 voters numbering their boxes there.
London based president of ALP Abroad backs the AEC’s call to expats to get their votes in.
“This election is very close and could be decided by the overseas vote. I urge people to make sure they vote,” he told Australian Times.
Postal voting from overseas
Eligible overseas voters who want to cast a postal vote must apply immediately to allow time for voting materials to be mailed to their nominated overseas address.
It is recommended overseas voters do not use the AEC’s direct online postal voting application as it automatically triggers the ballot papers being mailed from Australia to their overseas address, increasing the prospect of postal voting materials arriving too late to vote.
Instead, overseas voters should download a postal vote application from aec.gov.au/pva and electronically send the completed form to one of the 94 diplomatic missions where overseas voting centres are located. These missions will directly mail ballot papers to voters, rather than the ballot papers being sent from Australia.
TOP IMAGE: Australians voting (By Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)