About Elections

Why have elections?

All Australians, who are eligible to vote, choose people to represent them at 3 levels of government. Each level is run by a parliament or council, made up of representatives elected by the people. Each has different areas of responsibility in making decisions for all of us.

Who decides who is in government?

Once the results are known at state and federal elections, the political party or coalition of parties that has the most members elected, becomes the governing party. To remain in office a state or federal government must keep the support of a majority of Members in the Lower House.

How do we elect each level of government?

The NSWEC (NSW Electoral Commission) is responsible for running State elections in NSW and NSW Local Government elections.

The Australian Electoral Commission is responsible for running Federal elections.

Electoral systems determine how votes cast at an election are translated into seats won by parties and candidates. Different electoral systems can produce different results, even from identical votes. 

Changes to legislation have shaped our Electoral History.

Electoral Boundaries are used to determine State districts and Local Government areas.

Are there penalties for not participating?

In Australia voting is not only a right but also a duty. It is compulsory to vote and you may be fined if you do not. There are other Electoral Offences which carry penalties.

All parties, candidates and groups that contest an election, and certain political donors, have funding and disclosure obligations.

How do I find more details?

We have compiled a list of useful links if you require more details than are covered on our website.