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Two masked individuals casting ballots at a polling centre.
Photograph: Edmond Dantés

Early voting starts today, and here's what you need to know

If you can't make it to the polls on election day, you can still vote early in person and by post

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier

Prime minister Scott Morrison has called for the federal election to take place on May 21 this year. According to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), eligible voters should cast their ballots in person on that day if they can do so. However, if your circumstances prevent in-person voting, you can participate in early voting from May 9. 

To participate in early voting, you must be:

  • Travelling
  • Seriously ill or due to give birth (or caring for an individual who is)
  • In fear of your safety
  • In prison or otherwise detained
  • A silent elector
  • Located 8km from a polling centre
  • Outside of your enrolled electorate
  • Unable to leave your workplace to vote
  • Otherwise unable to reach a ballot box

If one or more of the above criteria apply to you and preclude you from voting on May 21, you can submit a postal vote by registering here or head to an early polling centre. More than 500 polling centres will be open for early voting, and you can find your nearest one using the AEC's website

Planning to vote on election day? Check out this handy map for finding the nearest place to snag a democracy sausage afterwards.

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