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Voting on election day

If you’re an eligible voter, it is compulsory to vote in federal, state and local government elections in Australia. 

In New South Wales, many people choose to vote in person at a voting centre (polling place). It’s usually quick and easy to vote in person, and election staff are available if you need help, but there are other ways to vote

On this page

Find a voting centre

To find your nearest voting centre, type your address into our electorate search tool. Then:

  1. Select your address from the drop down menu. 
  2. Your district (for state elections), council and ward (for local government elections) will appear on screen. 
  3. Depending on the election, select your district/council/ward.
  4. You will be directed to a district/council/ward page where a map of your electorate will display. Blue icons on the map indicate where you can vote early. Orange icons indicate where you can vote on election day.

If you have moved to a new area since you voted last, you should check your enrolment and update your details if necessary.

At the voting centre

Before you enter

There are usually many people standing outside a voting centre. They could be candidates running for election or people helping candidates and parties to hand out 'how to vote’ brochures and leaflets. You do not have to take this information from them, but it might help you to cast your vote.

There may be a queue of people waiting to vote. Stand in line until it is your turn to have your name marked on the electoral roll.

Identifying yourself to election staff

Election staff will help to direct you to the correct table. You will be asked:

They will also:

  • confirm your electorate
  • mark your name on the roll to record you have voted
  • give you your ballot papers.

You don’t need to show identification. However, it can be helpful to have something available if your name is difficult to pronounce or spell.

What if I am a registered silent elector?

If you are a registered silent elector in a New South Wales state or local government election, you will need to provide your name and date of birth, but you will only be required to confirm your enrolled electoral district/council area, not your full address.

What if my details are not on the electoral roll?

If the election staff can't find your details on the electoral roll, you will need to complete a declaration vote.

Completing your ballot papers

Federal, state and local government elections all have different ballot papers. It is important to read and follow the instructions on each ballot paper carefully to make sure your vote is counted.

To complete your ballot papers:

  • take your ballot papers to a vacant voting screen and cast your vote in private
  • once you have filled in the ballot papers, you must fold them and put them into the correct ballot box on your way out.

Learn more information about how to complete a state election ballot paper and a local government election ballot paper.

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