Early voting – or ‘pre polling’ – for the upcoming federal election is now officially open for those who are unable to make it to a polling place on May 18.
For anyone who cannot travel or perhaps has plans to be out of the country on election day, their vote can be cast ahead of time at one of more than 600 early voting centres nationwide.
To be eligible for early voting, according to the Electoral Act, you must have plans to be interstate, outside of your electoral division or more than 8 kilometres from a polling place on election day. Those with religious duties, poor health or reasonable fears for their safety also fall within the eligibility guidelines.
Voting at these centres is carried out in the same way you would vote on election day, with voters selecting their preferred candidates on official ballot papers.
Here’s what you need to know about voting early and where you can do it.
If you live in New South Wales, but can’t make it to a polling location on May 18, then fear not as there are plenty of early voting centres to choose from, whether you live in Sydney or Dubbo.
Those in the state’s capital can head to St Luke’s Anglican Church in Enmore, Harold Park Community Hall in Forest Lodge, All Souls Anglican Church in Leichhardt and Marrickville Town Hall.
While those in Newcastle can visit the Charlestown early voting centre on Smith Street, as well as the early voting centre on King Street. And those in Byron Bay can cast pre-poll at Marvell Hall, as well as several locations nearby, within the electoral division of Richmond.
To see the full list of early voting centres in NSW, click here.
For those Queenslanders who find themselves out of the country or otherwise occupied on polling day, there are an extensive number of locations where voters can submit their selections ahead of time.
Those living in the capital city of Brisbane can visit the City Hall in King George Square, which is wheelchair accessible, at 549 Queen Street or at Chermside Kedron Community Church. While those living up north can find early voting centres at the Commonwealth Centre on Grafton Street, as well as the Port Douglas Community Centre, Weipa Storm Surge Shelter, on Hibberd Drive, and at the Cooktown PCYC Event Centre.
To see the full list of early voting centres in QLD, click here.
Those voting for representatives in the electoral division of Melbourne can cast early votes at the likes of The Hive on Victoria Street, the early voting centre at 10 Yarra St and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Regional voters in Bendigo can head to the early voting centre on Mitchell Street or Castlemaine Town Hall, while those living in Corangamite can pop into the Old GMHBA building at 178 High Street, as well as the Freemasons Cosmopolitan Lodge in Queenscliff or Focus Five in Geelong.
To see the full list of early voting centres in VIC, click here.
Voters in the Top End fall into two electorates, Lingiari and Solomon, and can visit a number of locations across the territory in order to cast their votes early.
Those who fall into the electorate of Lingiari can visit; the Alice Springs PPVC on Gregory Terrace, The Village Shopping Centre in Casuarina, Coolalinga Central at 425 Stuart Highway, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade Darwin, the Katherine PPVC on Second Street and the Gateway Home Shopping Centre Yarrawonga.
While those voting in the electorate of Solomon can vote early at; the Gateway Home Shopping Centre Yarrawonga, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade Darwin and The Village Shopping Centre in Casuarina.
To see the full list of early voting centres in the NT, click here.
It’s the political hub of Australia, as the home of Parliament House. Those wanting to vote early in Canberra can pop into the Belconnen Community Centre, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Centrepoint on Anketell St in Greenway, Quokka Pavilion in Mitchell, Old Parliament House in Parkes and Cosmopolitan Building in Woden.
To see the full list of early voting centres in the ACT, click here.
Those voting early in the electoral division of Franklin can do so at the Hobart early voting centre at 144 Macquarie St, the Kingborough Community Hub in Kingston and the Rosny Park early voting centre at 6 Bayfield St. While those in Braddon can visit the Old Sportspower Building in Burnie and the West Coast Council Offices in Queenstown.
To see the full list of early voting centres in TAS, click here.
There is an early voting centre at 144 North Terrace in Adelaide, as well as the Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church in Daw Park and Quebec Mall in Port Adelaide.
Voters within the electoral division of Sturt can head to the Modbury early voting centre at 1020 North East Road, the Glen Osmond Baptist Church Hall in Myrtle Bank and the early voting centre at 232 Payneham Road in Payneham.
To see the full list of early voting centres in SA, click here.
Perth residents can submit their early votes, from Monday at the Morley early voting centre on Russell Street, as well as at The Cloisters on St George’s Terrace. While those down the road in Fremantle can head to Gateway Shopping City in Cockburn and the early voting centre at Adelaide Street Plaza.
Those in the electoral division of O’Connor have the choice of Albany Town Hall, Forrest Forum in Collie, the Centrepoint Arcade in Esperance and the Leonora Recreation & Aquatic Centre, among others.
To see the full list of early voting centres in WA, click here.
There are also other voting options available to those who cannot make it to a polling place, particularly for those restricted by health issues. Mobile polling teams visit many voters who cannot vote in person, with mobile stations set up in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons across the country, as well as in rural and remote areas.
While it is not yet available, the AEC will make a list of mobile locations available on their website ahead of the election.
Telephone voting is also available for Australians who are blind or have low vision.