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.
Eligibility to vote early
Under amendments to the Electoral Act 1907 introduced in 2016, anyone who is eligible to vote in a State election may apply for an early vote, either in person or by post. You no longer have to meet specific requirements to vote early.
The WA Electoral Commission is working closely with the WA Department of Health to manage the risks around COVID-19 at the 2021 election, but the constantly changing situation means the WA Electoral Commission cannot plan the lead-up to and the actual election with absolute certainty. Most importantly, the WA Electoral Commission is encouraging everyone who has concerns about attending a polling place on election day to vote prior to election day, either by postal vote or at an early voting centre.
Find your closest early voting centre and opening times here.
Early voting (by post) is made available at all State elections but is important in 2021 for those who may be uncertain about casting their ballot in person. An application for a postal vote can be completed electronically on the Commission's website or a printed form can be requested by contacting the Commission on 13 63 06 and selecting option 2. Ballot papers will be posted to electors from Monday 22 February 2021. If posted by the elector on or before polling day, completed postal packages can be accepted via mail until 9:00am on the Thursday following polling day.
During an election, the Commission visits 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.
Mobile polling is only available to residents or patients at these facilities. Staff and visitors can vote early at an early voting centre, or at a polling place 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). This form can be submitted at any time.
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.