Up Front by Emma Hart

The Surprisingly Sincere Up Front Guide to Voting Part 1: Advance Voting

So I can’t talk about politics at the moment, and not just because my family want a break from the shouting and swearing. What I can talk about, however, is voting. Endlessly. Try to stop me.

This is the first of two highly informative guides to voting I’ll be publishing this week. This one is specific to advance voting, and it doesn’t cover ordinary election day voting which is why I haven’t mentioned all those things I haven’t mentioned. And yes. I know the comments are turned off. I’ll turn them on for the second column so everything’s in one place. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, you can email them to me.


Do I need my EasyVote Card to cast an advance vote?


If I don’t have my EasyVote Card, do I need ID?


Are you sure?


That can’t be right. Someone told me…

Well, you find that someone and tell him, preferably in front of as large an audience as possible, that I said he was incorrect. If he’s a decent person I’m sure he’ll want to know that he’s been putting people wrong.

When can I advance vote?

From Monday 11th September, until the day before Election Day. You may not have received your EasyVote Card before advance voting opens. See above.

Where can I advance vote?

Go here, select your electorate, and you’ll get a list of advance voting sites. They’re different from Election Day sites, and there are more of them than there were last year. Note that the days and hours of opening are very different across different sites.

Do I need a reason to cast an advance vote instead of a normal one?

No. Anyone can cast an advance vote. We don’t even ask.

Do I have to be enrolled?

No. We can enrol you in the advance voting booth and you can cast your vote at the same time. The only time you can’t enrol is on Election Day.

What if I’m not sure if I’m enrolled or what electorate I’m in or which roll I’m on?

You should definitely come in and advance vote. For advance voting only, we have a tablet – A TABLET* – with the electoral roll on it, and we can just look up your name on that, instead of finding your address in one massive book, and then looking through the roll for that electorate. It’ll be so much faster. And if it turns out you’re not on a roll, or your details are wrong, we can fix that on the spot and you can cast a valid vote.

What if I cast an advance vote, and before Election Day, something happens and I change my mind about my vote?

Yeah. That’d suck.

Oh, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

What if I advance vote for a candidate and then they die?

Probably a bigger bummer for them than you, to be honest.

Will it be quicker to advance vote, or to vote on Election Day?

So, interesting question. This year, the Electoral Commission is expecting that advance voting might top 50% of votes cast, for the first time. But they have to staff for all likely scenarios. So if that many people advance vote, it’ll be quicker to vote on Election Day. If fewer do, it’ll be quicker to advance vote. So, who knows?


Most people who advance vote do it on the last three days. Those and Election Day will definitely be the busiest. And maybe the 19th, which is the anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.

If you have any uncertainty about any aspect of your enrolment, you should cast an advance vote.

If you’re going to be out of your electorate on Election Day, you should advance vote, because it is HEAPS quicker to do a normal advance vote than a special vote.

If you’re on the unpublished roll, maybe advance vote, because there’ll be fewer people around. Or do whatever the fuck makes you most comfortable. You’ve earned it.

If you really love the sense of occasion and community of voting, then fuck it, vote on Election Day, and more power to you.


*Not even a stone tablet. But imagine how big that sucker would be.