Australia

Population Statistics

22,751,014

Total Population

3,412,652

Population with a disability

according to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate

Election Dates

21
may

Australia House of Representatives 2022

2022

17 July 2008

Ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918, last amended 2005)

Updated: October 2020

Section 98, subsection (3) states:

Where a person wishes to make a claim for enrolment, for transfer of enrolment or for age 17 enrolment and a registered medical practitioner has certified, in writing, that the person is so physically incapacitated that the person cannot sign the claim, another person may, on behalf of the person, fill out and sign the claim in accordance with the directions of the first-mentioned person.

 

Section 99, subsection (5) states:

If:

(a) a person wishes to make a provisional claim for enrolment; and

(b) a registered medical practitioner has certified, in writing, that the person is so physically incapacitated that the person cannot sign the claim; another person may, on behalf of the person, fill out and sign the claim in accordance with the directions of the first-mentioned person.

 

Section 184A, subsection (2) states:

An application [for registration as a general postal voter] shall be made on one of the following grounds:…

  • (b) the applicant:
    • (i) is a patient at a hospital (other than a special hospital or a hospital that is a polling place); and
    • (ii) because of serious illness or infirmity, is unable to travel from the hospital to a polling place;
  • (c) because of serious illness or infirmity, the applicant is unable to travel from the place where he or she lives to a polling place;…
  • (f) a registered medical practitioner has certified, in writing, that the applicant is so physically incapacitated as to be incapable of signing his or her name;…”

 

Section 194 states:

The following requirements for postal voting shall be substantially observed…

  • (f) if the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, complete the postal vote…

 

Section 200E states:

Pre-poll voting:

(7) If the elector satisfies the officer that the elector cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person chosen by the elector may, according to the directions of the elector, do any of the following acts:

  • (a) fill in the pre-poll vote certificate with the required particulars;
  • (b) read the certificate to the voter;
  • (c) complete the certificate;
  • (d) mark the elector’s vote on the ballot-paper;
  • (e) fold the ballot-paper and return it to the officer.

(8) Directions under subsection (7) may be given by reference to a how-to-vote card…

 

Section 200DL states:  

(1)  If the voter satisfies a voting officer that the voter cannot read or is so disabled as to be unable to vote without assistance, a person is chosen by the voter may, according to the directions of the voter, do any of the following acts:

      (d)  enter an unoccupied compartment of the voting place with the voter and mark the voter’s vote on the ballot paper;

      (e)  fold the ballot paper and deposit it in a ballot‑box.

(2)  Directions under subsection (1) may be given by reference to a how‑to‑vote card.

(3)  The other provisions of this Division have effect subject to this section.

 

Section 223 states:

In sections 224, 225 and 226, patient, in relation to a hospital, does not include a person attending the hospital as an out-patient.

 

Section 224 states:

(1) In this section, hospital means a hospital that is a polling place.

(2) Where:

  • (a) a patient in a hospital is:
    • (i) in the case of a by-election—entitled to vote in that election; or
    • (ii) in any other case—an elector for the State or Territory in which the hospital is situated; and (b) the patient wishes to vote at the hospital; the presiding officer shall visit the patient for the purpose of taking the patient’s vote.

(3) When visiting the patient, the presiding officer shall:

  • (a) take to the patient a ballot-box, a ballot-paper, and anything else necessary to enable the patient to vote; and
  • (b) be accompanied by a polling official and such scrutineers (if any) as wish to attend.

(4) The visit to the patient shall be made between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on polling day or a day to which polling is adjourned.

(5) While the presiding officer is in the same room, ward or other place as the patient, this Act applies in relation to the taking of the vote of the patient as if the room, ward or place were part of a polling booth at a polling place.

(6) A polling booth at a hospital shall be attended by a polling official at all times when the presiding officer is absent from the booth for the purpose of visiting a patient.

 

Section 234 states:

(1) If any voter satisfies the presiding officer that his or her sight is so impaired or that the voter is so physically incapacitated or illiterate that he or she is unable to vote without assistance, the presiding officer shall permit a person appointed by the voter to enter an unoccupied compartment of the booth with the voter, and mark, fold, and deposit the voter’s ballot-paper. (1A) A presiding officer who is visiting a patient under section 224 or 225 for the purpose of taking the patient’s vote must explain to the patient the effect of subsection (1) of this section.

(2) If any such voter fails to appoint a person in pursuance of subsection (1) the presiding officer, in the presence of such scrutineers as are present, or, if there be no scrutineers present, then in the presence of:

  • (a) a polling official; or
  • (b) if the voter so desires, in the presence of a person appointed by such voter, instead of a polling official; shall mark, fold, and deposit his or her ballot-paper.

(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), a voter to whom that subsection applies may indicate to the presiding officer the manner in which the voter wishes the presiding officer to mark his or her ballot-paper by presenting to the presiding officer a statement in writing (which may be, or include, a how-to-vote card) that specifies the manner in which the ballot-paper is to be marked.

(4) Where subsection (1) applies in relation to an absent or provisional voter, the presiding officer shall:

  • (a) fill in the declaration referred to in subsection 222(1) or 235(2), as the case may be, with the required particulars as requested by the voter;
  • (b) read the declaration to the voter;
  • (c) complete and attest the declaration; and
  • (d) cause the declaration to be witnessed by a scrutineer or, if no scrutineer is present, by a polling official.

 

Section 234A states:

(1) If the presiding officer at a polling place is satisfied that a voter is unable to enter the polling place because of physical disability, illness, advanced pregnancy or other condition, the presiding officer may allow the voter to vote outside the polling place, in close proximity to the polling place…

(5) If the voter also satisfies the presiding officer that he or she is unable to vote without assistance, the presiding officer may, with the voter’s consent, allow a polling official to mark and fold the voter’s ballot-paper.

 

Section 245, subsection (11) states:

If an elector is unable, by reason of absence from his or her place of living or physical incapacity, to respond to a penalty notice or to a notice under subsection (9) within the prescribed time, any other elector who has a personal knowledge of the facts may, subject to the regulations, respond to the notice within that time, and such response is to be treated as compliance by the first-mentioned elector with the notice.

                        

Excerpts from the Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918, last amended 2005)