Failure to Vote
Voting has been compulsory in Victorian State elections since 1926. If you are enrolled to vote, then you must vote in all Federal, State and local Council elections and statutory polls. If you are aged 70 or over, it is now compulsory to vote in local Council elections under the new Local Government Act 2020.
(Note: For Local Council elections in 2020, this excludes those who are on the Voters' Roll under the CEO List. It is not compulsory for anyone on the CEO List to vote, even if they have applied to be on that CEO List.)
What if I don't vote?
'Apparent failure to vote' notices
If you are on the Voters' Roll for Greater Dandenong in local Council Elections being held on 24 October 2020 and you don't vote, you will receive an 'apparent failure to vote' notice in January 2021 from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2020. (Note: this excludes those who are on the Voters' Roll under the CEO List in 2020 as above.)
The notice will invite persons who were required to vote at the Council elections and who appear not to have voted to provide an explanation for why they failed to vote. You could also contest that you did, in fact, vote at the elections if you believe that you are incorrectly recorded as not having voted.
Infringement notices will then be issued in March 2021 by the VEC to persons who were issued with an 'Apparent Failure to Vote Notice' in January 2021 and either fail to respond within the 28 day timeframe or fail to provide a satisfactory response. Infringement notices will carry a penalty. If that penalty is not paid, then a penalty reminder notice will be issued with an additional cost.
How do I contact the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC)?
Contact the VEC on 131 832.