Millions of Australians at risk of a $222 fine and a criminal conviction within DAYS – but there’s one thing you can do to avoid it
- Millions of Aussies risk a $222 fine and court date if they fail to vote in election
- Those who fail to vote hit with $20 penalty which could jump to $222 if unpaid
- Federal election is nine days away with voters to hit polls on Saturday, May 21
- The latest YouGov poll has predicted a landslide Labor victory over the Coalition
Millions of Aussies could be hit with a $222 fine and risk a criminal conviction if they fail to vote in the upcoming federal election.
Any Australian citizen over the age of 18 who is on the electoral roll and forgets to vote will receive a $20 penalty from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which could jump to $222 and even a court date if left unpaid.
More than 17.2 million Aussies are enrolled to vote in the election on Saturday, May 21, with thousands already having their say at pre-polling centres across the country.
More than 500 pre-polling centres opened on Monday, which will operate between 8am to 6pm to allow residents to cast their vote early.
Millions of Australians could be hit with a $222 fine and risk a criminal conviction if they fail to vote in the upcoming federal election (pictured, Queensland police officers in 2021)
More than 17.2 million Aussies are enrolled to vote in the election on Saturday May 21, with thousands already having their say in pre-polling centres (pictured, voters in Sydney in 2019)
There are certain caveats that can excuse people who are unable to vote on May 21, who can vote early either in person or post.
However, AEC commissioner Tom Rogers, said Australians should still consider elections as ‘in-person events’ that can unite the country every three years.
‘If you can vote on election day then that’s what you should do,’ Mr Rogers said.
‘However, if your circumstances might prevent you from doing that then you need to think about the early voting options available, and vote according to your circumstances.’
AEC figures reveal 16.4 million Australians were enrolled to vote in the 2019 federal election with 92 per cent of the population voting.
Australia is one of only 16 countries that actively enforces mandatory voting.
In 2016 Darwin man Frank Bost refused to vote on principle and took his case to court.
The latest YouGov poll has predicted a landslide Labor victory over the Coalition (pictured, Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison)
More than 500 pre-polling centres opened across the country on Monday which will operate from 8am to 6pm (pictured, voters at a pre-polling centre in Sydney on Tuesday)
He pleaded guilty to violating the Commonwealth Electoral Act and was ordered to pay $308 including a fine as well as the Australian Electoral Commission’s legal fees.
A similar thing happened in 2016 to Tasmanian woman Emma Louise Pearce.
Ms Pearce failed to vote at the 2016 federal election and was taken to court by Commonwealth prosecutors.
After telling the court she disagreed with the voting system she was hit with a $180 fine, legal costs, and a criminal conviction.
Australia is one of only 16 countries that actively enforces mandatory voting (pictured, people queue to cast their vote at a centre in Homebush on Tuesday)
The latest YouGov poll has predicted a landslide Labor victory over the Coalition, with the ALP set to win 80 seats compared with a combined 63 for the Liberal and National parties.
The poll revealed the ALP could form a majority government with multiple Coalition seats predicted to fall to independents.
Independents are gaining ground from the Liberal Party in inner-city seats like Wentworth in Sydney, and lead in the polls in seats such as Warringah, Kooyong, and Goldstein.
After Wednesday night’s leadership debate Channel Seven’s audience of undecided voters resoundingly favoured Labor leader Anthony Albanese.
Countries with mandatory voting
Argentina – voluntary if aged 16-18
Bolivia – not enforced if aged 70+
Brazil – voluntary if illiterate, aged 16-18, or 70+
Ecuador – voluntary if aged 16-18 or 65+
Luxembourg – voluntary if aged 70+
North Korea – only one candidate
Peru – voluntary if aged 75+
Switzerland – only in one canton