Do I have to vote?

Voting is a right and a responsibility.

Your vote is an important way to have a say in shaping Queensland.

By law, it is compulsory for eligible Australian citizens, aged 18 or older, to vote at Queensland state elections, council elections, and state referendums.

If you don’t vote, you may be fined.

COVID-safe voting

The ECQ follows Queensland Health advice and ensures COVID-safe measures are in place at elections.

Health directives change from time to time and voters may need to follow different instructions at different elections.

When voting, the ECQ recommends you do the following:

  • plan where and when you will vote
  • stay 1.5 metres apart
  • use hand sanitiser
  • bring your own pen or pencil if you wish
  • follow all Queensland Health directions, including wearing a mask as needed.

Election staff receive training in relation to current health directives and/or COVID-safe measures that are required at polling booths.

What happens if I don't vote?

After an election, records are checked. If it appears you have not voted you may receive a warning letter or an apparent failure to vote notice.

Warning letters

Generally, warning letters are sent to people who appear not to have voted for the first time in their voting history.

If you receive a warning letter, you do not need to take any immediate action. But you need to make sure you vote in the next election or by-election in your state or local government area.

If you don’t vote at an election in the future, you may be fined.

Apparent failure to vote notice

An apparent failure to vote notice provides the opportunity to say whether you did or didn’t vote, or why you didn’t vote.

If you receive this notice, you can:

  • provide a valid and sufficient reason for not voting
  • tell us that you did vote and provide the details, or
  • pay a fine of one penalty unit at the time of the offence, or half this amount if the fine is paid before the due date.

Infringement notice

If you don’t respond to the apparent failure to vote notice, you are likely to receive an infringement notice. This is the fine for not voting.

If the fine is not paid, you may be referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) for further action and additional charges may apply.

Pay online

If you have received an apparent failure to vote notice or infringement notice and wish to pay online, please click the button below or visit: www.ecq.qld.gov.au/payyourfine

Pay your fine

Please note the option to pay online expires after the fine’s due date.

Examples:

Apparent failure to vote notice example

A sample of page 1 of a State General Election Apparent Failure to Vote letter

Non-voter warning letter example

A sample of a State General Election warning letter