Hurry Up, You've Only Got Until Thursday To Enrol To Vote In The Election
The federal election has been called -- and you've got only a few days to ensure you're properly enrolled to vote.
Ending months of speculation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his long-awaited trip to see the Governor-General at Government House in Yarralumla this morning, asking Sir Peter Cosgrove to dissolve the 45th parliament and set down an election for Australia in a few short weeks' time.
The campaign will begin almost immediately, with Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten to criss-cross the country in search of votes.
But you've only got a week to get your details in order, to ensure you can vote and avoid a nasty fine.
Before too long, you'll be lining up at for a democracy sausage at a schoolyard voting booth BBQ, or filling out your postal ballot at home -- but before all that, you've got to make sure you're properly enrolled to vote, and that all your details are up to date.
Around half a million Australians are still missing from the electoral roll, but even if you're not one of those, it's always a good idea to check your enrolment, just in case -- you don't want to line up for an hour and then be turned away because you forgot to update something.
The Australian Electoral Commission has warned:
You must be correctly enrolled by 8pm local time Thursday 18 April 2019
It's not enough to just have your name on the roll. If you've moved house, or updated other personal details since the last time you voted, you'll need to make some changes.
First step is to head to the Australian Electoral Commission's website. You can check your enrolment details there, to make sure everything is up to date. If things are looking good, then great! You don't need to do anything, just turn up at the right place on the right day and engage in democracy.
But if things aren't entirely correct -- if you've updated your name, or your address, even if you've just moved around the corner from your old place -- then you should update your deets.
It's super easy. Just a few boxes to fill in, and you're on your way.
"Every time you move, you must update your address on the electoral roll or your name could be removed and you will be unable to vote. You are eligible to enrol for your new address if you have lived there for at least one month," the AEC said.
Australians are pretty good about getting enrolled, with the AEC saying more than 96 percent of us are on the rolls. They're hoping that election 2019 will lead to "the most complete and accurate roll Australia has ever had", so go check your details.
In addition to updating your details or checking your enrolment, you can also do things like apply to be a postal voter, or vote in a different way than lining up on election day.
If you know you'll be away on election day, whether that's overseas or just away from your usual home area, you can apply to vote via the post; to vote early at a pre-poll; or to vote using your phone.
The AEC's Voting Options page has all the info you need.