Information sheets

Your vote makes a difference
Levels of government and the role of your vote

Why vote?

The Queensland Human Rights Act 2019 states:

Every eligible person has the right, and is to have the opportunity, without discrimination—

    1. to vote and be elected at periodic State and local government elections that guarantee the free expression of the will of the electors; and
    2. to have access, on general terms of equality, to the public service and to public office.

One person, one vote

Democracy means rule by the people.

Under Australian democracy it is the right and responsibility of every eligible citizen to have a say in the laws and systems of government that affect them.

Voting is compulsory for all Australians over the age of 18.

Your vote not only affects you, it affects everyone in your community. Your vote carries the same weight as that of every other elector.

Where does my vote count?

Australia has three levels of government: local, state or territory, and federal. State, territory, and federal governments are established under the Australian Constitution. Local government is a function of States or territories. Each level of government makes laws and decisions that shape the way Australians live every day.

Local government

Queensland has 77 local government areas. They may also be called cities, towns, shires or regions. Local governments manage public property and provide a range of local services and activities.

Local governments can deliver services adapted to the unique needs of their region and community.

To provide these services, local governments raise money via rates and service fees. They also receive grants from state and federal governments.

Local governments are responsible for:

  • cultural and sporting facilities
  • town planning
  • waste management
  • land and coast care programs
  • pet registration and rules
  • taxation – rates and levies.

In Queensland, local government elections occur every four years.

Queensland state government

Queensland is divided into 93 electorates with elected representatives, who develop, debate, and pass laws for the state as members of the Queensland Parliament.

The state government also raises money from taxes but receives more than half its budget from the federal government to spend on state matters.

The Queensland Government is responsible for:

  • education
  • health care and hospitals
  • cultural, sporting and recreation facilities
  • emergency services
  • community services
  • Indigenous land rights
  • environmental protection
  • taxation
  • public works and transport
  • industrial relations
  • consumer affairs
  • marriage and divorce.

As you can see there are areas where local and state governments both have responsibility, such as public works, cultural facilities, environment, sport and recreation.

State elections occur every four years.

Federal government

The Federal or Commonwealth Government is responsible for the conduct of national affairs. Its areas of responsibility are stated in the Australian Constitution. These include:

  • trade and commerce
  • foreign policy
  • defence
  • tertiary education
  • immigration and citizenship
  • Indigenous affairs and native title
  • environment, world heritage areas and national parks
  • taxation
  • national employment conditions
  • aged care, pensions and welfare
  • Medicare
  • postal and telecommunications services
  • marriage and divorce.

Areas where state and federal government responsibilities are shared include education, health, environment, marriage and divorce, trade and taxation.

Australian federal elections occur every three years, but can occur at any time during the three year term.

Check and update your enrolment

This is easy to do online and only takes a few minutes. Go to the Australian Electoral Commission website at

For more information

If you would like to know more about the different levels of government you can visit the Parliamentary Education Office website at, or the Queensland Parliament website at

The Queensland Human Rights Act 2019 is administered by the Queensland Human Rights Commission. You can find out more about human rights law in Queensland at

View this information about why your vote makes a difference in PDF (0.88 MB)

Why is voting important?

Voting is the way we choose who represents us in local, state, and federal governments.

Governments make decisions about every part of our lives from roads, to hospitals and schools, industry, farming, exports and imports, taxes and rates, environmental rules and protections, workplace conditions and basic wages, and the laws that shape our communities.

In a democracy with compulsory voting, each vote is equal, every voice is equal.

By voting, you are part of the decision; you are making a choice about how your community, state, or country functions. If you don’t vote, you are relying on someone else to choose for you. Every vote has equal value in Australia.

Not voting also means you may be fined because voting is compulsory in Australia.

Make sure you are involved in decisions about your community by voting at every election.

"Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it."

Susan B. Anthony

Does your vote make a difference?

Every vote counts! Here are some examples of why:

  • 2020 State general election - the successful candidate in Bundaberg won by nine votes.
  • 2020 local government elections – Napranum Mayoral – the second placed candidate was successful with only a four-vote lead following the distribution of preferences.
  • 2020 local government elections – councillor position – before the distribution of preferences, three candidates were tied on 111 votes each!
  • 2021 - councillor by-election in Barcoo Shire saw the successful candidate win by one vote.

Your vote counts at every election.

Need to enrol to vote or update your enrolment? Go to

To find out more about compulsory voting, read the information sheet: Why is voting compulsory in Australia? PDF (0.46 MB)

View this information about why voting is important in PDF (0.44 MB)

Why is voting compulsory in Australia?

Compulsory voting was first used in Australia at the 1915 Queensland state election. Following this, Queenslanders turned out to state and federal elections in higher numbers than the national average.1

This increased voter turnout in Queensland encouraged changes at the federal level and in 1924, the Parliament of Australia amended the Electoral Act to make voting compulsory at federal elections.

Today, voting in Australia is compulsory at state and federal levels of government. It is compulsory at local government level in Queensland, however not all states compel electors to vote in local government elections.

Federal, state and territory electoral commissions continually monitor and improve procedures and practices to ensure the secrecy and integrity of the voting process.

Is compulsory voting better than voluntary voting?

It is argued compulsory voting ensures elected governments are viewed as legitimate, with nearly all electors having their say through voting. Whatever the outcome, the elected government is seen as the majority’s choice: each vote is equal, every voice is equal.

Where voting is not compulsory:

  • candidates and parties focus their policies on the minority of people who will vote, however their policies still effect the whole population – a minority is deciding for the majority, and
  • a lot of time, money, and effort is spent by campaigners just to get people to enrol and vote.

Only 27 countries out of 195 worldwide (13.8%) have compulsory voting.2

To learn more about the importance of voting, go to the information sheet: Why is voting important? PDF (0.44 MB)

Fast facts on voter turnout

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, voter turnout at the 2019 federal election was nearly 92 per cent.

The United Kingdom (UK) has voluntary voting. The lowest turnout in a UK general election was 57.2% in 1918. In 2015, the turnout was 66.1%3 of eligible electors.

The United States of America (USA) also has voluntary voting. At the 2020 USA Presidential election, the turnout was 66.2% of eligible electors4 , and was reported as a ‘record turnout’.

View this information about why voting is compulsory in Australia in PDF (0.46 MB)

1 Parliament of Australia. Department of Parliamentary Services. 2005. Compulsory voting in Australian national elections p. 5 -;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22library/prspub/06SH6%22 – accessed 18 March 2021

2 International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA),, accessed 17 March 2021

3 UK Parliament,, accessed 17 March 2021

4 Pew Research Center,, accessed 17 March 2021

Voting options
Have your say at Queensland elections

Is voting compulsory?

Yes, voting is compulsory. Voting is an opportunity to have your say and help shape Queensland. You must enrol and vote if you are aged 18 or over. If you do not vote, you may receive a fine. Voting at elections is both a right and a responsibility.

Make sure you’re correctly enrolled

Enrolling to vote or updating your details is easy.

Go to and follow the links.

Or you can fill out a paper form. You’ll find these in the “Enrol to vote” section at

Failure to vote

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) may send you an ‘apparent failure to vote’ notice if you appear not to have voted. If you receive this notice, you can:

  • provide a valid reason for not voting
  • tell us that you did vote and provide details
  • pay a fine which equates to 1 penalty unit at the time of the offence ($137.85 as of 1 July 2021).

If you don’t respond to this notice, it will be referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) for further action.

Special enrolment categories

There are enrolment categories available to electors with specific needs or circumstances.

If you believe you meet the criteria for one of these categories you will need to complete the applicable enrolment form -

No fixed address

If you do not have a fixed, permanent address you’re still eligible to enrol and vote. To register under the no fixed address category you must be an Australian citizen, aged 18 years or older and be:

  • living somewhere temporarily without a permanent home to return to; or
  • experiencing homelessness, living in crisis or transitional accommodation.

This category is not available for people travelling (overseas, interstate, or for work) who can return to their permanent home.

Silent elector

You can register as a silent elector if you believe that having your address shown on the electoral roll could endanger you or your family. Approval to register and vote as a silent elector is granted at the discretion of the Australian Electoral Commission. Go to for more information.

Special postal voter

Registering as a special postal voter means you’ll receive ballot papers by post for each election applicable to you. To register as a special postal voter you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • reside at an address more than 20km from a polling booth
  • be unable to attend a polling booth due to religious beliefs
  • be unable to sign due to a physical incapacity.

For more information contact the Australian Electoral Commission on 13 23 26 or online at

How to cast your vote

Voting is compulsory at all three levels of government: federal, state and local government. There are many ways you can vote, even if you can’t go to a polling booth on election day.

Early voting (pre-poll)

Everyone is welcome to vote early.

When an election is being held, early voting locations will be listed on the ECQ’s website at

Postal voting

Anyone can apply for a postal vote and have their voting materials mailed to them. If you’re registered as a special postal voter or silent elector your voting materials will be mailed to you automatically.

Attend a polling place on election day

Many people vote at a polling booth on election day. Voting locations will be listed on the ECQ’s website once an election has been called.

Telephone voting

A dedicated telephone voting system is available to eligible electors who cannot attend a polling booth or vote without assistance. To find out if you are eligible and to register for this service, contact the ECQ on 1300 881 665. Read more in the telephone voting information sheet PDF (0.7 MB).

View this information about the voter information card in PDF (0.83 MB)

What is a voter information card?

A voter information card or VIC is sent to Queensland electors at their enrolled address before a local government or State general election. An electronic version is also sent to electors who have registered their email address when enrolling to vote.

The VIC shows:

  1. an elector’s name and address
  2. the type of election underway
  3. date/s of the election
  4. the elector’s electorate or local government area
  5. voting options for the election
  6. where to access election information
  7. how to contact the ECQ
  8. a QR code.

Why a QR code?

The QR code makes it much easier and quicker to mark you off the electoral roll when you vote in person.

If you are voting at an early voting centre or election day polling booth, bring your VIC with you. The ECQ official will scan the QR code and you will then be marked off the roll and receive your ballot papers. Easy. If you forget your VIC, no problem. The official can still find you on the electoral roll if you are correctly enrolled.

If you decide to postal vote, you won’t need your VIC.

Want to check that you’re correctly enrolled or add your email address to your enrolment?

Go to

Example of front of voter information cardExample of back of voter information card

View this information about the voter information card in PDF (0.97 MB)

Journey of your postal vote

Who can postal vote?

Anyone can apply for a postal vote by going to the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) website at when postal voting applications open before each election.

Once your postal vote arrives in the mail, there are 5 easy steps to cast your vote. Remember you MUST vote before 6pm on election day.

  1. Open and complete your ballot paper. Don’t wait. You can do it as soon as you receive it. Follow the instructions on the ballot paper/s so you vote correctly.
  2. After voting, fold your ballot paper/s in half and put your ballot paper/s in the declaration envelope and seal it. It is very important that you put your ballot paper/s inside the declaration envelope.
  3. Sign the declaration envelope where it says You sign here. Have a witness sign where it says Your witness signs here.
  4. Put your sealed and signed declaration envelope into the Reply Paid envelope.
  5. Post the Reply Paid envelope right away.

Votes must be received by the ECQ within 10 days after election day to be included in the count. If a vote is received AFTER the deadline, it can’t be included. These votes are recorded and stored.

The counting of all votes begins after 6pm on election day.

Follow these links to find out more about how to vote at or assisted voting services at

What happens after your postal vote is mailed to the ECQ?

  1. Your postal vote is RECEIVED by the ECQ.
  2. The OUTER envelope is opened and the declaration envelope is removed and checked.
    1. Has it been witnessed and signed?
    2. Are enrolment details correct?
  3. The DECLARATION envelope is scrutinised - enrolment, signature and witness signature checked. If all in order, the declaration envelope is opened and the folded vote/s are taken out and placed into a ballot box.
  4. Postal vote counting begins at 6pm on election day and then continues for up to 10 days after the election.
  5. FORMAL votes are counted for the FIRST time.
  6. From 6pm on election day, postal votes (just like other votes) are removed from a ballot box and checked to see if they are filled out correctly (are formal).
    1. Formal votes go to the correct counting table.
    2. Informal votes are collated.
  7. There must be enough postal votes to count each time. This ensures the vote remains secret. Sometimes the ECQ must wait for enough votes to arrive to continue the progressive count. Each new count is verified and recorded for upload to the ECQ website.
  8. For all types of votes, including your postal vote, FORMAL votes are counted for the SECOND time. PREFERENCES are allocated when counting concludes.
  9. Formal votes and preferences are then VERIFIED and RECORDED for upload to the ECQ website.

This is the journey for every postal vote. After they arrive at the ECQ, they are checked for formality, counted, recounted, and the result verified.

This process is repeated until all votes are received or until 10 days after election day. When all possible votes are in, a distribution of preferences may commence.

When the outcome is certain, the successful candidate is declared.

View this information about the postal vote journey in PDF (0.93 MB)

Telephone voting

How it works

Telephone voting is a special service offered by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) for vulnerable electors who have limited voting options. This service is not available to everyone and there are strict eligibility checks.

Electors are requested NOT to attempt to register for this service if they do not meet the criteria. Calling to register when not eligible means phone lines can become congested and prevent eligible electors from being able to vote.

You are eligible for telephone voting if you meet one or more of the following:

  • cannot vote without assistance due to an impairment or an insufficient level of literacy
  • cannot vote at a polling booth because of an impairment
  • are special postal voters not detained in lawful custody
  • are distance voters whose enrolled address is more than 20km from a polling booth
  • during the election period, are located interstate or overseas
  • during the election period are directed to quarantine or isolate.

An elector who does not meet one or more of the above criteria for telephone voting must not be registered. All electors can apply for a postal vote, vote at an early voting centre, or vote on election day.

Telephone voting takes some time and involves several steps. This process ensures the integrity and secrecy of the vote.

Telephone voting works like this:

  1. If you are eligible, you can call the ECQ on 1300 912 782 during the telephone voting period designated for an election to register your interest for a telephone vote.
  2. You will be asked to verify yourself on the electoral roll.
  3. Your eligibility to vote through the telephone voting service will be checked.
  4. If eligible, you will be asked to provide the ECQ representative with a six (6) digit personal identification number (PIN) and a phone number or email address to receive your unique registration number.
  5. You can receive your registration number and PIN by:
    • text message, or
    • email, or
    • text message and email or, if needed,
    • by telephone call.
  6. TO VOTE - follow steps 6 - 16
  7. Once you have received your registration number and PIN you can call 1300 912 782 and select option two (2) to cast your vote.
  8. Have your registration number and PIN ready when you call.
  9. You will be asked to verify your identity by only providing the registration number and PIN to the ECQ representative.
  10. To ensure that your vote is completely secret, please do not share your name or address during this call.
  11. Once verified, the ECQ will confirm your electorate or local government area (depending on the election) in which you can vote.
  12. The ECQ representative will then read the ballot paper instructions, and the list of candidates as they appear on the ballot paper.
  13. You will then be asked to choose the candidate or candidates in your order of preference, depending on the voting system for the election.
  14. A witness will watch and listen to ensure the ECQ representative marks the ballot paper as you have instructed.
  15. Once completed, the ballot paper is put in a sealed ballot box – just as if you had voted in person.
  16. After the close of polls on election day the ballot box is opened, and all the votes are counted.
  17. Your vote is always secret.

View this information about telephone voting in PDF (0.7 MB)

Counting the votes

The process of counting votes following an election is undertaken with the primary objectives of ensuring:

  • accurate results, and
  • the secrecy of the ballot.

There are four phases to the counting process:

  1. the preliminary count
  2. the indicative count (not conducted for all elections)
  3. the official count, and
  4. the preference count (if preferences are used in voting).

The counting of votes begins at 6pm on election night when the polls have closed, and continues until the counting process is complete.

All counts completed on election night are unofficial. A declaration of a successful candidate is made by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) only after the official count has been conducted and when the outcome is certain.

If certainty requires inclusion of outstanding postal votes, a declaration can't be made until the counting of any postal votes returned within the deadline. This is 10 days after election day.

1.  Preliminary count – after 6pm on election night

The unofficial preliminary count begins following the close of polls at 6pm on election day. For the preliminary count, the total number of first preference votes each candidate received is tallied.

On election night, the following votes will be counted in polling booths and Returning Officers’ offices:

  • all election day polling booth votes
  • all available early voting centre votes (some material may still be in transit)
  • all available postal votes (many postal votes will still be in transit and can be received up to 10 days after election day)
  • electronically assisted votes (telephone votes) for electorates where large volumes of votes have been cast (if relevant), and
  • all votes taken during early voting and on election day.

All results will be reported through Returning Officers and progressively published on the ECQ’s results website.

2.  Indicative count – after 6pm on election night, and following days if required

The indicative count is an allocation of preferences to two candidates selected by the Electoral Commissioner. The two candidates are selected because various factors indicate they are the most likely to receive the highest number of first preference votes. The factors include historical trends and current polling.

The two candidates for the indicative count for each state electoral district remain in-confidence until 6pm on election day. It is possible that, after a majority of polling booth counts are completed on election night, it becomes clear that the majority of first preference votes have been cast for different candidates to those selected for the indicative count.

Where this occurs, a corrected indicative count may be undertaken at the Returning Officer’s office in the day(s) immediately following election day.

3.  Official count – the day/s following election day

After the unofficial (preliminary and indicative) counts are complete, an official count is conducted under the supervision of the Returning Officer for each electoral district. All preliminary counts are counted again as part of the official count. No official counts are conducted on election night.

Postal votes and declaration votes continue to be counted and included in the count during this phase.

4.  Preference count – the day/s following election day

The preference count (sometimes called the full preference count) is the process of exhausting votes received by the candidate with the lowest number of votes, according to the voters preference marked on the ballot paper, as outlined here:

  • First, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is excluded from the count and their preferences are distributed to the other candidates according to the elector’s preference marked on the ballot paper.
  • Following this, the candidate with the next lowest number of votes is excluded from the count and their preferences are distributed to the other candidates according to the elector’s preference marked on the ballot paper.
  • This process of exclusion and allocation of preferences continues until there are two candidates remaining in the count and one of the candidates has the majority of votes.

A declaration of a successful candidate is only made when the outcome is certain.

A declaration may occur once official counts have been conducted in the days after election day, however the ECQ may need to wait until a sufficient number of outstanding postal votes are received and counted to ensure there is certainty about the elected candidate having absolute majority of votes cast. Postal ballots received up to 10 days after election day are admitted to the count, and in some instances the ECQ will need to wait for day 10 postal votes to be received and counted, and undertake the preference count before making a declaration.

Following declarations of results, the successful candidate will be indicated on the ECQ’s results website.

View this information about counting votes in PDF (0.8 MB)

Direct enrolment and update program
in Queensland

Enrolling to vote

It is compulsory for Australian citizens aged 18 and over to enrol and vote. Australian citizens are responsible for voting in federal, state and local government elections.

When you enrol, your name and address is added to the ‘electoral roll’ — the list of people who can vote in an election. You are required by law to keep your details on the electoral roll correct and up to date.

Eligibility requirements

It is compulsory to enrol and vote if you:

  • are an Australian citizen or eligible British subject
  • are aged 18 years or over
  • have lived at your address for at least one month.

People aged 16 and 17 can enrol provisionally and receive a full voting entitlement on their 18th birthday.

If you believe someone should be removed from the electoral roll, please contact the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on 13 23 26 or at

Direct enrolment and update

The AEC administers federal elections and manages the Queensland electoral roll under a joint roll agreement with the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ).

The Federal Direct Enrolment and Update (FDEU) program is used to assist some Australians meet their enrolment obligations.

To do this the AEC can enrol you directly, without the need for you to complete an enrolment application.

The AEC gets your details from other government agencies, such as the Department of Transport, Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office and Australia Post.

However, it is ultimately up to each individual Australian to take action to enrol or update their enrolment.

The AEC will write to you and let you know if they intend to add your name and address to the electoral roll or update your details. They will send the letter to your last known address.

Your address will be public

If you are added to the electoral roll through the FDEU, you will be added as a general elector.

This means your address will be visible on the electoral roll. The electoral roll is available to the public. Anyone can visit the Electoral Commission of Queensland and look up details on the electoral roll.

Electors are required to vote at each election.

Other ways to enrol

You can enrol or update your details online at

Enrolment forms are also available at any Centrelink or AEC office.

Failure to vote

If you don’t vote in a Queensland local or state election, the ECQ may send you an 'apparent failure to vote' notice, asking you to provide your reason for not voting.

If you do not provide one you may receive a fine equal to one penalty unit ($137.85 as of 1 July 2021). Failure to pay the fine will result in the penalty being referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.

If your circumstances make it difficult to vote at a polling place or if it would be unsafe for you to have your address visible on the electoral roll, it is important to make sure you are enrolled under a special enrolment category that suits your circumstances.

Special enrolment categories

Silent elector

If you believe having your address shown on the electoral roll may put you or your family at risk, you can apply to be enrolled as a silent elector.
Your address will not appear on the electoral roll and you will receive your ballot paper in the mail.

No fixed address elector

If you are experiencing homelessness, or you are living in crisis or transitional accommodation, you can register as a no fixed address elector. Under this category you will not receive a penalty if you fail to vote at an election.

Special postal voter

If you cannot physically attend a polling place on election day you can apply to be enrolled as a special postal voter. You will receive your ballot paper in the mail.

To enrol under this category, you must meet the necessary criteria, some of which are below:

  • reside at an address more than 20km from a polling booth
  • registered as a silent elector
  • unable to attend a polling booth due to religious beliefs
  • unable to sign due to a physical incapacity.

Special category enrolment forms are available online at or from your local AEC office.

For further information contact the Electoral Commission of Queensland on 1300 881 665 or visit the website at

View this information about the federal direct enrolment and update program in PDF (0.99 MB)


During an election period, there are laws about misleading electors. Misinformation and disinformation can be concerning and have the potential to undermine our democracy. There are a few simple ways you can check information that comes to you.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it from a reliable source?
  • Is it current? When was it published?
  • Is it a scam?

STOP – Check the source

Authorising election material

All election material must be authorised with a person’s name and street address. This means that anyone can contact that person if the material is untrue or misleading. It is an offence in Queensland to mislead electors in the process of voting, or about candidate’s character.

Campaigning at a polling booth

All campaign activities must take place at least six metres away from the entrance to the polling booth. Due to COVID-19 there are restrictions about what can be handed out. You do not have to take campaign material or how-to-vote cards. It is your choice.

How-to-vote cards

How-to-vote cards handed out on election day must be submitted to the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) for approval before they can be handed out. How-to-vote cards must also be authorised and must not contain anything that misleads electors.

Text messages and phone calls

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has previously advised that the SPAM Act and Do Not Call Register Act do not apply to registered political parties. They are also not subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld). This means they can contact you with campaign messaging.

The ECQ does not disclose electors' telephone numbers.

Postal vote applications from parties

Political parties are able contact electors about applying for a postal vote. If an elector chooses to use this service and returns the completed form to the party, the party will apply for the postal vote on the elector’s behalf.

Electors have the choice whether or not to be involved in this process.

Electors who prefer to apply to the ECQ directly can do so at or by phoning the ECQ call centre on 1300 881 665 during an election.

All postal ballots will be sent AFTER the close of candidate nominations, the ballot paper order draw, and the printing of ballot papers.

The information sheet The journey of your postal vote PDF (0.93 MB) has further information.

CONSIDER – Is this correct?

Election communication is an important part of the democratic process. It can help electors decide who to vote for by informing them about candidates and their policies. However, with this communication, comes the responsibility not to mislead electors.

Definition of electoral disinformation

Electoral disinformation is information designed to deceive voters – either by design or unintentionally. It may also be called misinformation or ‘fake news’.

Responsibilities of communicators

In Queensland, it is the responsibility of each candidate, party or other person or organisation making communications about local government or State elections to ensure their electoral communications comply with the relevant laws, including not misleading electors, and ensuring materials are appropriately authorised.


Media representatives and social media organisations have a role to play in the appropriate creation and distribution of election communications. Television and radio broadcaster have obligations in relation to political communications under broadcasting laws.

Social media

Social media have powerful communication channels that can be used to spread electoral information quickly and widely. That also means the channels can be misused to spread disinformation designed to mislead or confuse electors.

Social media companies have platform policies, community guidelines and tools to help electors ask questions about electoral information on their platforms. More recently, social media companies have taken proactive steps to remove material and groups from their platforms when the information and posts were designed to mislead and misinform electors.

Broadcasting blackout periods

The broadcasting blackout period is a provision under the Broadcasting Service Act 1992 (Cth), administered by the ACMA. Elections advertisements cannot be broadcast on television and radio from the end of the Wednesday before election day until the close of poll on election day.

This does not apply to election information advertisements from the ECQ.

The ECQ’s role

The ECQ is an independent statutory authority established under the Electoral Act 1992 and is responsible for:

  • the impartial conduct of State, local and industrial elections and referendums in Queensland
  • the regulation of electoral funding and disclosure requirements, and
  • the reviewing of state and local electoral boundaries.

The ECQ’s responsibilities and functions are determined by the Act and the ECQ will respond to concerns that fall within its jurisdiction.

The ECQ’s authority to act

Where the ECQ has no authority to act regarding an issue or concern, that matter can be directed to an appropriate body such as:

The Australian Electoral Commission which regulates federal elections, has produced a video that explores the STOP and CONSIDER message. Watch it here.


Website: Australian Electoral Commission. Electoral Communication STOP and CONSIDER. Accessed 17 September 2020.

View this information about STOP and CONSIDER in PDF (0.99 MB)

Who does what in elections?

Elections are huge logistical events run in Australia by electoral commissions that ensure all enrolled electors have the opportunity to vote. Voting is compulsory at all levels of government in Australia.

Electoral CommissionElection responsibilities
Australian Electoral Commission
  • Federal elections
  • Federal by-elections
  • Federal referendums
  • Plebiscites

State Electoral Commissions

  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • South Australia
  • Western Australia
  • Tasmania
  • State general elections
  • State by-elections
  • Local government elections
  • Local government by-elections
  • State referendums

Territory Electoral Commissions

  • Northern Territory
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Territory general elections
  • Territory by-elections
  • Local government elections
  • Local government by-elections
  • Territory referendums

Who works at elections?

Electoral commissions have skilled and experienced staff who plan and oversee every election event. However, there are many short-term, paid employment opportunities for those interested in working at an election.

Electoral commissions seek expressions of interest before election events to engage extra staff to ensure elections are delivered effectively and efficiently. For a major State election event, the ECQ can employ more than 10,000 temporary election staff.

Do electoral commissions do other things?

Electoral commissions have other roles too.

They can:

  • deliver industrial elections for employers and employees
  • support assessing changes to electorate boundaries
  • manage the registration and deregistration of political parties
  • promote and review compliance by political parties, candidates, members of Parliament, councillors, and donors, with funding and disclosure requirements
  • manage the electoral roll.

What are electoral commissions?

Electoral commissions are independent statutory authorities established under federal, state, or territory electoral acts.

Each electoral commission implements legislation that governs its functions.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has responsibilities under the Electoral Act 1992, the Local Government Electoral Act 2011, The Referendums Act 1997, and the Industrial Relations Act 2016.

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