Election Rules

The following legislation contains the rules of conduct in elections and various electoral and other offences.

Electoral Act 1907
Electoral Regulations 1996
Electoral (Political Finance) Regulations 1996
Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899
Local Government Act 1995


Candidate Rules

The basic do's and don'ts of running as a candidate at a State election are outlined in these Candidate Guides:

Candidates Guide – Legislative Assembly (PDF, 847 KB)

Candidates Guide – Legislative Council (PDF, 772 KB)


Authorisation of Election Campaign Material (s. 187 and s.187B, Electoral Act 1907)

A common area or concern for some candidates relates to the authorisation of election campaign material including How-To-Vote-Cards. It is important to note that any material “that is intended, calculated or likely to affect voting in an election” is required to be authorised once the writs have been issued.

The requirements relating to the authorisation of election material apply, irrespective of who is publishing the material and whether it is in printed or electronic form.

Any electoral advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or electoral notice (other than an advertisement in a newspaper announcing the holding of a meeting), must have at the end of it, the name and physical street address (not a PO Box number) of the person authorising it. 

If election material is produced and printed by the one person (eg. using a home computer and printer), then the legislative provisions are satisfied by adding ‘Authorised by (name), (address)’ at the end of it.

If both sides of the paper are used, the authorisation must be at the bottom of each side.

Certain small items of a candidate or party, of promotional nature, are exempt from the requirement to carry the authorisation and addresses. These include:

  • T-shirts, lapel buttons, lapel badges, pens, pencils or balloons
  • Business or visiting cards that promote the candidacy of any person in an election.

Any advertising on the Internet (eg. banner ads) must also be authorised. A website or Facebook page created for electioneering purposes needs to be authorised (on the home or landing page), however individual comments on social media (eg. such as Twitter or Facebook) do not.

Penalties may be applied for non-compliance with the authorisation requirements, as well as for any misleading or deceptive publications.


Rules pertaining to designations under squares on Legislative Council ballot papers

If a candidate has not been endorsed by a registered political party, they may apply to have the word “Independent” appear under their name on the ballot paper below the line.
If they do not select to do so, their name will not have anything written under their name below the line.

If there are five or more candidates in a group a square will be printed above the line for the group.