Hot Topics: Voting and elections

Hot Topics: Voting and elections explains the key features of our electoral laws, who can vote, who can stand for election, and how votes are counted.

About the authors

This online edition of Hot Topics: Voting and elections was updated in April 2019 by Professor Rodney Smith. The issue is based on  previous editions, written by Rodney Smith and Associate Professor Anika Gauja, both from the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney.

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Chapter one


Chapter two

Elections in Australia

Federal elections - state and territory elections - local government elections. 

Chapter three

Who can vote

Commonwealth franchise - states and territories - local government councils - history of the franchise - prisoners and the vote.

Chapter four

Compulsory enrolment and voting

Voter turnout - what if voters don't vote - other countries with compulsory voting - current enrolment procedures.

Chapter five

Compulsory voting - for and against

Main arguments for and against.


Hot Topics: Voting and elections. Hot Topics is intended as an introductory guide only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, the Legal Information Access Centre does not assume responsibility for any errors or omissions.

© Library Council of New South Wales 2019. Copyright in Hot Topics is owned by the Library Council of New South Wales. Material contained herein may be copied for the non-commercial purpose of study or research, subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).