Voting early at a State election
The Commission recognises that not everyone can vote on polling day for a number of different reasons. Various options for voting before election day are available to eligible electors, but are subject to the strict timeline outlined by electoral law.
To vote prior to polling day, electors are eligible for early voting if they:
- will be more than 8 kilometres from any polling place throughout the hours of polling or polling day
- are a silent elector (section 51B)
- are seriously ill or infirm
- are caring for a person who is seriously ill or infirm, or expected to shortly give birth
- are approaching maternity
- are a member of a religious order or have a religious belief that precludes them from voting on a Saturday.
- are serving a sentence of detention or imprisonment
- will be travelling under conditions that preclude them from voting at any polling place open in the State or
- will be unable to attend a polling place because of emergency duty or employment
You will be asked which of these criteria apply to you by the issuing officer if you attend an early voting location, or on your postal vote application form if you vote early (by post).
Early voting (in person) locations are usually available across Western Australia before polling day. You may wish to take your EasyVote card if you have received one in the mail.
Early voting (in person) is also available for electors who are travelling interstate or overseas. Early voting centres are usually located at the electoral commissions of other states and territories or at Australian embassies.
Postal voting application forms will be available prior to an election.
Postal voting packages will be sent to electors who have submitted a completed and correct postal vote application form once early voting has commenced. Ballot papers cannot be sent out before this time, as the candidate nominations and ballot paper printing process occurs.
During an election, the Commission will visit hospitals and selected institutions such as nursing homes, aged care facilities and retirement homes to provide electors the opportunity to vote without having to leave their premises.
In addition, mobile polling teams visit a selection of Indigenous communities, mine sites and other places in the more remote parts of Western Australia in order to offer voting services.
Only those electors who are eligible to vote early can use this service. Mobile polling is not intended to be used by staff who could otherwise vote on polling day.
In some circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for registration as a general early voter. This means that ballot papers are automatically sent to you (by post) after an election has been announced and ballot papers have been printed.
An elector can apply to be registered as a general early voter if the elector:
- lives more than 20 kilometres by the nearest practicable route from the nearest polling place
- is a patient in a hospital or similar institution
- due to serious personal illness is physically unable to travel to a polling place
- is caring for a person who is seriously ill or infirm
- is aged 70 years or over
- is registered as an overseas elector
- is registered as a silent elector or
- is an elector who because of religious beliefs, or membership of a religious order is precluded from attending a polling place for all or most of the hours of polling.
To register as a general early voter you need to meet the eligibility requirement and complete the required general early voter form (PDF, 1.05 MB).
Local government elections
Most local government elections conducted by the Commission are postal elections, and packages will usually arrive approximately two weeks before polling day.
Occasionally, local governments will request the Commission to conduct an election in person, where electors vote at a polling place on polling day. If you are unable to attend a polling place on polling day, you can apply for a postal vote (form LG12) or contact your local government to discuss your options.