Overseas Australian voting posts published
3 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Australian government has released a list of all overseas posts providing electoral services for the federal election set for 9 October.
3 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Australian government has released a list of all overseas posts providing electoral services for the federal election set for 9 October.
The stations will be open for pre-poll voting in the two weeks commencing on 27 September prior to polling day. Click here to check the nearest your nearest polling station for opening times and further details.
A press release from the Australian expat advocacy group Southern Cross Group (SCG) warns expats that if they are going to vote in person, they should not plan to visit their local Australian mission on the actual day of the election.
Instead, they will need to vote in the two weeks before Saturday 9 October because overseas polling stations will not be open on election day.
This is because Australia is in a time zone ahead of most of the rest of the world and overseas polling stations cannot be open after polling in Australia has closed.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) said the introduction of internet or computerised voting is presently not a feasible option because several security, technical, financial, access and equity issues have to be solved before it can be introduced.
The SCG said if overseas Australians cannot get to an overseas post to vote in person, they should apply for a postal vote.
This can be done using the following form:
But it is not too early to return a completed postal vote application form to your nearest overseas post providing voting services.
Diplomatic posts will hold all returned postal vote applications until they receive ballot papers from Australia (probably soon after 17 September). They will then dispatch ballot papers to everyone who has applied for a postal vote.
Most overseas posts will only be accepting postal vote applications until 6 September, to allow time for the posting out of ballot papers before the election. Expats are therefore advised to send in their postal vote application as soon as possible by fax.
The SCG reminded expats that just because they are overseas and are on the electoral roll, they will not be automatically sent election ballot papers. You must therefore apply for a postal vote if you do not intend to vote in person at an Australian mission providing voting services.
It is not compulsory for Australian citizens to vote if they are outside Australia on polling day and you will not be fined if you do not vote.
But the SCG said if you are currently enrolled — and you do not vote in person or apply for a postal vote in this election — your enrolment might be cancelled, forfeiting the right to vote for the rest of the time that you remain abroad.
For further information on the issue of disenfranchised overseas Australian citizens, click through to the SCG website:
For the AEC's general webpage on overseas electors, click through to:
If you need to re-enroll, be aware that electoral Rolls close at 8 pm Australian time on 7 September. To check whether you are currently enrolled, go to: https://oevf.aec.gov.au/.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
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