Millions of Aussies face $55 fine this weekend

Aussies who forget to vote in the NSW state election could face more than just a fine.

·2-min read
A composite image of people lining up to vote in Sydney and Australian money to represent the fine you may get for failing to vote.
Aussies face fines if they fail to vote this weekend. (Source: Getty)

New South Wales residents go to the polls on Saturday for the state election, but failure to vote will result in a fine, or possibly even more.

Failure to vote will result in a fine of $55. You will be given 28 days from when the notice was sent to you to complete this, otherwise you risk an additional $65 fee.

If you don’t respond to the penalty notice, or fail to pay, the matter will be referred to Revenue NSW and you could have your licence suspended or cancelled and your car registration cancelled.

What is a legitimate reason not to vote?

Not being aware that an election is taking place is not a legitimate reason to have missed the vote.

Under law, there are a few reasons why someone may not have voted that the government will accept.

These are:

  1. If the voter is deceased

  2. If the voter was absent from the area on polling day

  3. If the voter was ineligible to vote

  4. If the voter has an honest belief that they have a religious duty to abstain from voting

However, it is still possible to avoid the fine if you have another reason not listed above. You just have to respond to the letter sent in the mail and outline your reasoning. The Electoral Commissioner will then decide if your excuse is acceptable.

How do I know when to vote?

It is important you know about upcoming elections in your area so, to keep on top of it, you can sign up to this free SMS or email-election -reminder service to receive notifications about upcoming state and local elections and by-elections.

You can also visit the NSW Electoral Commission website to find all the information about how and where to vote in any upcoming elections.

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