Entries by category: Voting


Election time in NSW











"Australian Federal Election 2010, voting booth, Town Hall, Sydney, NSW, Australia". Photo taken by Hewlbane during the last Federal Election in August 2010.  This image can be found on flickr.

NSW votes on 26 March 2011.  Find Legal Answers have developed an information page about voting and elections called NSW elections 2011.  This will help you:

  • find out more about this election - the electoral process, electoral boundaries, where to vote, and what your vote means,
  • read about the election process and how parliament works and
  • learn more about voting systems in Australia.

Voting and elections

Our recent election has highlighted yet again that Australia’s election laws are controversial.  It is easy to become confused about Australian laws regarding voting and elections.  A few years ago we produced a Hot Topics issue on Voting and Elections which you might find a help in understanding Australia’s electoral system. It addresses the following:

  • Who gets to vote?
  • Compulsory enrolment and voting
  • Enrolment and voting integrity
  • Who can become an election candidate?
  • Drawing electoral boundaries
  • How are votes counted to find a winner?

David Flint has written a response to the events following the election 'G-G more than a rubber stamp in the wings' (The Australian, 27 August 2010).  He refers to events following the election of 1940 in which the Menzies Government won narrowly with the support of two conservative independents.  However, Menzies lost the support of his party and was forced to resign.  The independents then crossed the floor.  They were asked if they would support the leader of the Labor party, John Curtin which they did to bring an end to the instability.  Curtin then won the next election by a landslide.

For additional information about our legal system, the Hot Topics issue on the Australian Legal System is invaluable.


Democracy on trial in the High Court

In an historic decision, the legislation which had allowed the early close of the electoral rolls and so denied over 100,000 Australians the right to vote, has been struck down by the High Court has. The decision is a landmark victory for representative democracy, political participation and accountable government.

The challenge to the early close of the rolls was jointly conceived and coordinated by the Human Rights Law Resource Centre and GetUp!

As a result of this case, a new constitutional principle has been created that has widened our democratic rights and 100,000 Australians will be able to vote this election who wouldn't otherwise have had the chance.  This summary provides details of this successful case. The decision of the court is yet to be published, however, here is a copy of the Court’s Order in Rowe & Another v Electoral Commissioner and Another.

Here are links to two media reports outlining this decision:

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