Australian Sign Language Guide to Voting in Victorian Elections

Updated: August 2018

The Victorian Electoral Commission produced a video for eligible Australians with information on how to enroll and vote. The video is accessible for persons with disabilities and includes Australian Sign Language (Auslan), with a voice over using plain English, and captions. A transcript of the video is available below.


(Transcript begins)  

Hi, I’m James. Today I’ll talk about how to vote in Victoria. Government in Australia has three levels. Firstly, the Federal Government looks after all of Australia. The Federal Government has two houses. The House of Representatives, and the Senate. You vote at least every three years for who will represent you. The Federal Government’s income comes from income tax, the GST, and other sources, it is responsible for issues important to all of Australia, like, the economy, military, immigration, and pensions. Secondly, the State Government looks after all of Victoria. The State Parliament is split into two houses. The Legislative Assembly, and the Legislative Council. You vote every four years for who will represent you. The State Government’s income comes from taxes like the stamp duty, and payroll tax. It is responsible for providing services such as schools, hospitals, the police, and emergency services for all of Victoria. Thirdly, the local council looks after the local community. There are 79 councils in Victoria. Every four years, you all have to vote who will be on the local council. The council’s income comes mainly from the council rates you pay. The local council is responsible for local services like parks, libraries, rubbish collection, roads and footpaths. Our system isn’t only about you voting. It also means you can stand as a candidate for Government at any level.

Enrolling to Vote 

Are you an Australian citizen over 18 years old? If yes, you can vote. How do you do this? You will need to fill in a form. This means you are enrolling to vote. You can get this form at any Australian post office, online ( OR Phone (131-832 OR VIA NRS). When you move house or change your name, you need to fill out the same form again. As an Australian, your vote is important and a big responsibility. The law says it is compulsory to enroll and to vote. If you don’t, you can be fined.

Who You Can Choose

Victoria is divided into different areas “electorates.” Federal, state, local council. The electorates are different for Federal, State, and Local Council elections. When you vote, you are choosing people to represent your electorate. Remember, when you move houses, you may also move to a different electorate. That would mean that different people represent you. The person voted in will represent you in Government. You can ask your representative for help or tell them about your community’s issues.

How To Vote

The way you vote in Australia is starting with your most preferred, number 1, then 2,3,4, and so on. Most of the time, the voting paper will ask you to continue until all candidates are numbered. If you do not, your vote will be omitted. Sometimes, the voting paper will allow you to pick a favorite party or group. That means the party or group choose the rest of your vote automatically. If you are not sure, not to worry, all voting papers have instructions on how to fill them out correctly.


In Australia, voting happens in two ways. Those two ways are by post or in person. Postal voting is when you receive the voting papers by post for you to fill in at home. Most local councils only do postal voting. For other elections, if you can’t go and vote on election day you can apply beforehand for the voting papers to be posted to you. If you would like someone to help fill in the voting papers, it’s OK. But it is very important that you decide for yourself who to pick. When you have finished, mail the voting papers back. For most elections, it’s usual to vote at a voting center. This happens for Federal, State and some local council elections. A few weeks before election day you will receive a letter explaining your voting options. For local council and State elections, the letter will tell you where your nearest voting centers are and when they are open. The letter you receive will also have your EasyVote card. Remember to bring this with you when voting. It will make it easier and quicker for you. If you can’t go to vote on that day, there are a few voting centers that will be open before election day for you. On election day, there will be lots of voting centers open in many areas. When you go vote, there will be a few questions. You may know that most people who work in voting centers may not know Auslan and how to communicate with deaf people. The best thing you can do is to let them know that you are deaf and what preference you have when communicating with them. There will be questions asked of you, they are your name, where you live, and to check that you haven’t voted previously in the same election. If you want someone to help you, you can. It’s up to you how you want the person to help you – sign or write. But the important thing is to decide for yourself who to vote for. This is the same for everyone. The people at the voting centers can help too. Voting centers close at 6pm on election day. Once this happens, the votes are counted and an announcement is made about the results.

Why Should I Vote?

I want to vote because I want my voice to be heard. I vote to represent myself and my home. I want to vote to make change happen for the future. Voting is an important process and can affect your life and can shape communities and the country. As an adult Australian citizen, it is important to take part. Remember that you can also stand as a candidate in an election. To ask questions about both enrolling and voting, contact for more information: Online ( Email ( Phone (131 832 OR VIA NRS). Please take part!