Is voting compulsory?
Voting is an important way to have a say in shaping Queensland. Voting is compulsory for all Queenslanders over the age of 18. If you don’t vote, you may receive a fine.
If you'll find it difficult to get to a polling booth, or it's unsafe for your address to be on the electoral roll, read more about special enrolment categories.
Voting in the 2020 State general election
The 2020 State general election was held from Monday 19 October to Saturday 31 October 2020. The Election Service Plan PDF (0.9 MB) outlines the activities undertaken by the ECQ to deliver the election.
Voters were provided with every opportunity to vote in a COVID-safe way, with a range of health requirements implemented as required by the Chief Health Officer. These included number restrictions in voting venues, regular cleaning of surfaces, maintaining distancing of 1.5 metres apart, using hand sanitiser, and bringing a pen or pencil if electors preferred. Postal voting and telephone voting options for electors were also expanded in recognition of health concerns.
As a result of these initiatives, the ECQ will not be inclined to again accept concerns over COVID-19 as a valid reason for not voting.
Apparent Failure to Vote and Infringement Notices
The ECQ has begun issuing warning letters and ‘apparent failure to vote’ notices to electors who appear not to have voted during 2020.
If you receive a warning letter, you do not need to take any action now, but make sure you vote in the next election or by-election where you are enrolled.
If you receive an ‘apparent failure to vote’ notice, you can:
- provide a valid and sufficient reason for not voting
- tell us that you did vote and provide details
- pay a fine of 1 penalty unit at the time of the offence ($133.00) or half this amount ($66.50) if paid before the deadline.
If you don’t respond to the ‘apparent failure to vote’ notice, we’ll refer you to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) for further action.
Read the media statement.
If you have received an apparent failure to vote notice or infringement notice and wish to pay online, please click below or visit: http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/payyourfine
Please note that the option to pay online will expire upon the due date of the relevant notice.
Voting in the 2020 local government elections
Outstanding ‘apparent failure to vote’ notices from the 2020 local government elections have now been referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER).
The ECQ recognises many electors who wanted to vote in the local government elections or by-elections, may have had a legitimate reason for not voting due to a heightened anxiety about COVID-19.
In light of this, the ECQ implemented a tailored response to non-voters from the March elections and first-time non-voters did not receive a notice from the ECQ.
However, warning letters or ‘apparent failure to vote’ notices were sent to electors with a pattern of non-voting behaviour who have not engaged with the ECQ, to pay the fine or provide a reason for not voting.
Read the media statement.