New South Wales

When and where to vote in New South Wales

Can I vote?

You can vote in the NSW State Election if you are:

  • 18 years old or over
  • an Australian Citizen
  • a resident of NSW
  • enrolled to vote

If you didn’t enrol by the deadline, you can still vote on election day. Visit a voting centre to enrol and vote on the spot. Make sure you bring ID, such as your driver licence, learner permit, Australian passport, or a recent electricity bill or council rates notice in your name and showing your address. Let one of the NSW Electoral Commission staff know you are not enrolled, and they can assist you.

Do I have to vote?

Yes, if you meet the criteria listed above you have to vote. You can receive a fine of $55 if you do not vote without a good justification for why you could not vote.

When to vote

The 2023 NSW State Election will be held on Saturday 25 March. Voting is open between 08:00 and 18:00 on that day.

Many people will vote on election day. If you cannot vote on election day, you can vote earlier in person or by mail (a postal vote) among other options listed below.

Where to vote

  • On election day – at a voting centre near your home. These are usually public buildings, such as schools, churches or halls. You can see what voting centres are available here or calling 1300 135 736 to find out what options are available.
  • Before election day– at an early voting centre OR by postal vote. You can vote at early voting centres between Saturday 18 March and Friday 24 March.

What happens at the polling booth or early voting centre?

Outside the polling booth or early voting centre, you may see candidates and/or volunteers helping the candidates. They may offer you a piece of paper called a ‘how-to-vote’ card.

You do not need to take or follow the how-to-vote card if you do not want to. It can help you decide how to vote if you agree with the candidate’s policies. However, you can still vote for the candidate and rank the other candidates in a different order than what the how-to-vote card suggests.

Inside the polling booth, you will see a NSW election official at a table with a list of names. You need to check in with the election official. They will ask for your name, your address, if you have already voted in the election, and to confirm your electorate. The election official will give you two ballot papers and will point you to where you should vote.

You will vote at cardboard voting booths. The booths have dividers so no one else can see how you vote. The booths have pencils that you can use to mark your vote, but you can also use your own pencil or pen.

If you need help filling out the election ballot papers, you can take a support person or friend with you. The election official can also help you. This helper should not tell you who to vote for and must not tell anyone how you voted without your consent.

What do you do if will be overseas or interstate on election day?

If you will be travelling during election day (either within Australia or overseas), you can either:

  • Vote ahead of time at an early voting centre
  • Vote by postal vote. Postal voting packs can be sent to your home address, or any address you nominate within Australia or overseas.

You can also call the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736 to find out more information.