Is it compulsory to vote?

    If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 years or more, you are required to enrol and vote in Federal, State and local government elections and by-elections. 

    Voting in the local area where you are a resident is compulsory for the Local Government Election.

    If you have registered to join the Non-Residential Roll on the basis of owning or leasing a secondary property here in the Shoalhaven, and find you are unable to vote, casting your vote for the Shoalhaven is not compulsory. You must still vote in your primary area.

    How do I enroll to vote or update my details?

    Enrollments for the Council election closed on 25 October.

    How do I vote?

    The pre-poll voting venues are currently open until Friday 3 December, 9.00am to 4.00pm:

    • Nowra Wesley Centre, 29 Berry Street, Nowra
    • Returning Office, 1/60 Isa Road, Worrigee
    • St Georges Basin Community Centre, 21 Meriton Street, St Georges Basin
    • Ulladulla Civic Centre, Princes Highway, Ulladulla


    The polling places for election day, Saturday 4 December, will be open from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

    If you will be absent on election day you may also apply for a postal vote or for iVote online voting - see the next FAQ.

    What should I do if I am absent on election day?

    If you are not going to be in the Shoalhaven Local Government Area on election day, you can vote early by pre-poll or organise a postal vote.  

    Postal voting will be available for electors who have any the circumstances listed at www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Voters/Other-voting-options/Postal-voting . These include travelling, being outside NSW, having a disability, or if you have concerns about attending a polling place due to COVID-19 risks. 

    Eligible voters may be able to apply to use the NSW Electoral Commission's technology-assisted app iVote. Call 1300 24 86 83 or register online at https://ivote.nsw.gov.au

    Are you travelling for an extended period but intend to return to your permanent address? Contact your local AEC office to inform them of your absence from your permanent address to make sure you are not removed from the electoral roll. Your local electoral office can notate your enrolment record with your intended absence dates. Call 13 23 26.

    What happens if I don't vote?

    If it appears you didn't vote at an election you were eligible for in New South Wales, the NSW Electoral Commission will send you an apparent failure to vote notice by post. The penalty for not voting in New South Wales is a $55 fine. You must respond within 28 days of the issue date of the notice. 

    If you applied to join the Non-Residential Roll on the basis of owning or leasing a second property in the Shoalhaven, but were not able to vote, you will not be penalised.

    For more information, including how to pay, or submitting a legitimate reason for not voting, visit the NSWEC I didn't vote webpage. 

    How do I find out which Ward I belong to?

    What are rules about COVID-19 vaccination status?

    Unvaccinated adults can attend premises being used as a polling place or voting centre in order to vote at or participate in the conduct of elections. 

    Masks remain compulsory in an indoor area of premises other than a place of residence. This will include premises being used for the election.

    What if someone falls ill and cannot vote?

    The NSW Electoral Commission will consider valid reasons for failing to vote. Please see their website at https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Voters/I-didn-t-vote/What-is-a-sufficient-reason-for-failing-to-vote

    If someone you are caring for becomes unable to cast their vote for medical reasons, you can apply for them to be removed from the electoral roll so they will not be penalised. Please contact the Australian Electoral Commission on 13 23 26 or see the required form at https://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/pdf/forms/objection/er005aw.pdf