Is it compulsory to vote at state elections and by-elections?

Yes, however, you are only required to observe the formalities of voting (i.e. have your name marked off the roll and receive ballot papers). You are not required to mark the ballot papers. For more information, refer to section 85 of the Electoral Act 1985.

I haven’t enrolled. Why am I on the electoral roll?

You are on the electoral roll because you have been enrolled through federal direct enrolment. Legislation was passed in 2012 enabling the Australian Electoral Commission to automatically enrol people through information received from other government agencies. For more information, please visit the Australian Electoral Commission website.

I was not living at my enrolled address at the time of the election. Do I still have to vote?

Yes, even if you were not living at your enrolled address, but still within South Australia, it is compulsory to vote. You do not have to go back to your previous district to vote, you can vote at any polling booth in South Australia.

What if I was interstate at the time of the election?

Each state and territory offers early voting for South Australians located interstate at the time of an election. 

What if I was overseas at the time of the election?

It is not compulsory to vote at South Australian elections if you are travelling or living overseas. 

You will be automatically excused from voting in state elections if you notify the AEC that you are travelling or living overseas. Find out more on the AEC's website.

Overseas voting is available in some countries and a list of locations is displayed on the ECSA website at the time of the election. 

What if I was sick at the time of the election?

If you were unable to attend an early voting centre or a polling booth on polling day due to illness, you will receive an 'apparent failure to vote notice' following the election. You simply need to respond to the notice with your reason for not voting. If your reason is deemed valid and sufficient, you will be excused for not voting.

Why is the fine for not voting $109 when the Electoral Act 1985 states that the expiation fee is $10 and the maximum penalty is $50?

A victims of crime levy of $99 is included in the total amount payable under the expiation notice. Under section 32 of the Victims of Crime Act 2001, a victims of crime levy is imposed on all expiation notices issued. $50 is the maximum penalty the court could impose if you elected to be prosecuted for the offence. However, there are court fees and other costs involved in the court process, which is why most people choose to pay the fine.