Victorians urged to enrol for upcoming council elections
August 8, 2020
The VEC is preparing to deliver safe elections during the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with all eligible residents and ratepayers encouraged to check they are enrolled by 4 pm Friday 28 August to be able to vote in the local council elections across Victoria this October.
Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately has issued a call ahead of the enrolment deadline: ‘If you’re 18 or over and you live in or pay rates to a Victorian council, enrol and have your say on the future of your local council.’
Australian citizens who have recently turned 18 or changed address can enrol or update their details online at vec.vic.gov.au/enrolment.
Anyone on the State electoral roll for their current address is automatically enrolled for these elections. There are also additional enrolment categories for non-resident owners, occupiers, company nominees and non-Australian citizens who pay rates. People in these categories should contact their local council for further information.
The 2020 Victorian council elections will be the State’s largest single election program, with a predicted 4.5 million voters and over 2,000 candidates participating in elections across 76 councils.
Casey City Council, Whittlesea City Council and South Gippsland Shire Council will not have general elections this October.
When does enrolment close?
Enrolment closes at 4 pm Friday 28 August 2020.
Who is automatically enrolled?
People are automatically enrolled for these elections if they are on the State roll or if they were enrolled as a non-resident owner at the most recent election in their local area. This includes any by-elections held since the last general election.
Who has to enrol?
Australian citizens aged 18 or over on 24 October 2020, living in Victoria, must enrol if they
have never enrolled
have lived at their present residential address for at least a month and have not updated their enrolment details.
Australian citizens can enrol, check or update their State enrolment details at vec.vic.gov.au.
Who can apply to council to enrol?
People can apply directly to their council if they will be 18 years of age or over on 24 October 2020 and:
own property in a council area but don’t live in the council area and were not enrolled at the last council election
are non-Australian citizens who live and pay rates in the council area
pay rates on a property they occupy in the council area
are a director or company secretary of a corporation that pays rates to the council.
A maximum of two owners and two occupants can be enrolled for any one rateable property through the council.
There are special enrolment categories for Melbourne City Council elections. This includes:
company directors and company secretaries of corporations that own or occupy rateable properties within the City of Melbourne
renters in the City of Melbourne who are not on the State electoral roll
people who own property in the City of Melbourne but don’t live in the council area. People in this category will be automatically enrolled to vote if they live in Australia and are the first or second person on the property title.
Do you have to be enrolled to nominate for election?
Yes, prospective candidates are reminded that they must be on the voters’ roll of the council they wish to stand in, either as a State or council-enrolled voter, and fulfil other eligibility requirements under the Local Government Act 2020.
Is voting compulsory for council elections?
Yes, voting is compulsory for all State-enrolled voters. State-enrolled voters who do not vote and do not have a satisfactory excuse for failing to vote will be fined.
It’s compulsory for all voters enrolled in the Melbourne City Council elections to vote, including non-Australian citizens and corporation voting representatives, unless they have a satisfactory excuse for failing to vote.
How will these elections be conducted?
The 2020 local council elections will be held by post for all councils in Victoria.
Ballot packs will be mailed to all enrolled voters between Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 October. Completed ballot material must be mailed or hand-delivered to the election office by 6 pm Friday 23 October.
Casey City Council, Whittlesea City Council and South Gippsland Shire Council will not be holding a general election this year. The next general election for South Gippsland is scheduled for October 2021, and Casey and Whittlesea City Councils are scheduled for October 2024.
Further information on enrolment is available by calling 1300 805 478 or at vec.vic.gov.au, where voters can also sign up to the free VoterAlert service to receive important election reminders by SMS and email.