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How voting works

Australia has three levels of government:

  • the Commonwealth (also known as the federal government)

  • state or territory governments

  • local council areas, shires and municipalities, based in communities across Australia.

Each level of government has a law-making body - a parliament or council - which is made up of representatives elected by eligible voters from the area they represent. As a voter, you will belong to a federal division, a State electoral district and a local government ward or council area based on which electoral boundaries you live within.

To find out your State electoral district and local government ward or council area, use the check your enrolment tool.

Check your enrolment

If you are eligible to vote in New South Wales, you must vote in all elections and referendums held in your federal division, State electoral district and local council ward or area.

Voting processes differ between these levels of government and so do election cycles, so its important to stay informed about when and where you need to vote. You can sign up for our election reminder service to receive SMS or email alerts about elections in your area.