Penalties for not Voting

The penalty for failing to vote at a State election or Local Government election is $55.00. Penalty payments are remitted to the NSW Treasury and not retained by the NSW Electoral Commission.

Electors who failed to vote at an election

You may have received a penalty notice sent to electors who appear not to have voted at an election. Payment or provision of a reason for not voting must be made within 28 days of the issue date of the notice.

For those who receive an "Apparent Failure to Vote" letter that relates to the September 2016 Local Government Elections, there is the option of providing an explanation for that apparent failure at the NSWEC Non-voter Self-service Portal. Entry to the portal is possible using their unique information provided in the initial "Apparent Failure to Vote" letter.

Use our Election Reminder Service so we can advise you when you need to vote.

Penalty notices

We are required by law to issue a penalty notice to an elector, who appears to have failed to vote at an election.

The notice gives options to:

  • provide a claim that you voted and details of where you voted
  • give a reason in writing for not voting
  • pay the penalty
  • apply to have the matter heard in court (the maximum penalty that a court may impose for an offence of failing to vote is $110 plus court costs).

You must reply within 28 days of the issue date of the notice.

If you do not, you will be sent a penalty reminder notice giving you a further 28 days to pay the fine before the matter is referred to the State Debt Recovery Office for action.

State Debt Recovery Action

The State Debt Recovery Office may issue a penalty notice enforcement order against you. This may lead to the cancellation or suspension of your drivers licence, cancellation of your car registration or worse.