Here’s everything you need to know about voting in the upcoming Australian referendum.
About the referendum
WHAT: A national vote to decide whether we should enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the constitution.
Read more about this question here: Referendum 2023 – The Question (aec.gov.au)
WHEN: Saturday 14 October 2023 from 8.00am – 6.00pm
HOW: You must write ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ on your ballot paper
Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens over the age of 18.
To check your enrolment details, you can visit the Australian Electoral Commission website.
Voting support for seniors
Voting can be a stressful experience for seniors, which is why the Australian Government has these support services to help us all have our say:
Residential care voting
Some resident care facilities will host AEC mobile polling teams from Monday 2 October. Information about these visits, including dates and times, will be provided to residents by each facility’s administration.
AEC staff can assistance residents to cast their vote where required.
Early voting by post
If you aren’t already registered to vote by post in Australian elections, you can apply online at the AEC website. You must apply to vote by post by 6pm on Wednesday 11 October 2023, and your vote must be completed and witnessed by 6pm on Saturday 14 October 2023.
Read more: Referendum 2023 – Postal voting (aec.gov.au)
Early voting at a polling booth
Hundreds of early voting centres will progressively open and be available over the two weeks before voting day.
Here is a full list of polling places and pre-poll voting centres: Referendum 2023 – Find my polling place (aec.gov.au)
Assistance on referendum day
The Government’s goal is to make voting easy for every Australian. For support on referendum day, seniors can:
Bring a helper
Seniors can nominate someone to assist with the voting process. A helper can enter the polling booth and assist with completing, folding, and depositing the ballot paper in the ballot box.
Ask polling staff for help
Polling staff are specially trained and happy to assist on voting day.
Visit an accessible polling place
Each of the AEC’s polling places is given an accessibility rating. You can filter the full list of polling places according to accessibility here: Referendum 2023 – Find my polling place (aec.gov.au)
Looking for aged care?
Get a customised list of aged care options
Frequently asked questions
Can you vote on behalf of an elderly loved one?
No. There is no provision for proxy voting, so even if you have a Power of Attorney in place, no person is permitted to vote on behalf of another individual.
Can a person with dementia vote?
People in the early stages of dementia, who are still capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, can continue to be enrolled and vote in the 2023 referendum.
If this is not the case for a loved one, you can remove them from the enrolment list by completing this form and returning it to the AEC: Objection claim that an elector should not be enrolled (aec.gov.au)
Can you vote by telephone?
Only voters who are blind or have low vision can cast a vote using the AEC’s dedicated telephone voting service.
What do you need to bring to the polling place?
The only thing you need to bring to the polling place is yourself. When you arrive at the polling place, a polling official will ask you three questions:
- What is your full name?
- Where do you live?
- Have you voted before in this referendum?
If your answers match what is on the electoral roll, and you have not voted before in the referendum, the polling official will mark you off the electoral roll, hand you a ballot paper and a pencil, and direct to a voting screen where you can cast your vote.
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