Failure to Vote

State elections

Voting at State general elections, by-elections and referenda is compulsory.

If you did not vote at a State election or referendum you may receive an email, text message or notice in the mail seeking an explanation of your apparent failure to vote. Please respond to the electronic message or complete the form and return it in the envelope provided.

Electors who fail to vote at a State election and do not provide a valid and sufficient reason for such failure will be fined.

The penalty for first time offenders is $20 and this increases to $50 if you have previously paid a penalty or been convicted of this offence. If you do not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, you can pay the penalty and that will end the matter.

Electors who do not respond to notices or do not pay the prescribed penalty may have the matter referred to the Fines Enforcement Registry and could have their driver's licence suspended.

Payments must be made by the due date on the relevant notice. If you miss a due date for payment you will need to wait for the next notice for new payment information.

If you have any queries regarding a notice for failing to vote, please email nonvoter@waec.wa.gov.au.

The forms you may receive during the process are explained below.

First Notice: Form 33 (the white form)

This notice is sent within three months following the election or by-election. This form will give you the opportunity to provide a reason for not voting at this election event. You can return the form or email your reason along with your infringement number to nonvoter@waec.wa.gov.au.

If your reason is accepted then there will be no further action. If you do not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, you should pay the fine on this notice.

You will need to respond to the first notice by the due date indicated on the notice. Payments made after this due date cannot be accepted. If you have not responded or paid the fine before the due date, you will be sent a second notice (Form 34) with new payment details.

Second Notice: Form 34 (the green form)

This notice is sent if you do not respond to the first notice (Form 33) or if the reason you provided for failing to vote is not regarded to be valid and sufficient. If you have not responded to the first notice (Form 33), you can still email your reason along with your infringement number to nonvoter@waec.wa.gov.au.

If you pay the fine or provide a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, there will be no further action. If you do not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, you should pay the fine on this notice to avoid increased fees on the next notice.

You will need to respond to the second notice by the due date indicated on the notice. The penalty amount will be the same as the first notice (Form 33). Payments made after this due date cannot be accepted. If you have not responded or paid the fine before the due date, you will be sent a final demand notice.

Third Notice: Final Demand (the blue form)

This notice is sent to you if you failed to respond to the previous two notices with a payment or a valid and sufficient reason. If you have not responded to the second notice (Form 34), but believe you have a valid and sufficient reason you can still email your reason along with your infringement number to nonvoter@waec.wa.gov.au.

A prosecuting authority fee is required to be added to your penalty with this notice under Fines Enforcement legislation. This will increase the amount payable from previous notices.

If you pay the fine or provide a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, there will be no further action. If you do not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, you should pay the fine on this notice as additional fees may be payable on future notices.

You will need to respond to the final demand notice by the due date as indicated on the notice. Payments made after this due date cannot be accepted. If you have not responded or paid the fine before the due date, your case will be referred to the Fines Enforcement Registry.

Fines Enforcement Registry Referral

If the matter has not been resolved after the first three notices have been issued, the matter will be referred to the Fines Enforcement Registry (FER), if you:

  • have not paid the fine
  • did not provide a valid and sufficient reason for not voting

FER issues a Notice of Intention to Enforce, which includes significant fees in addition to the original penalty. The Western Australian Electoral Commission is no longer able to accept payments after this time. All payments need to be made through the Fines Enforcement Registry (WA) at either 1300 650 235 (landline) or (08) 9235 0235 (mobile).

If you have not responded to any of the four previous notices but believe you have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting, you may still email your reason to nonvoter@waec.wa.gov.au.

If you do not respond to the Notices of Intention of Enforce sent by the Fines Enforcement Registry, you risk facing additional penalties including having your driver’s licence suspended or an enforcement warrant issued to recover your outstanding debt.

Local government elections

Voting in local government elections is not compulsory, but all electors are strongly encouraged to participate in voting for their local government representatives.