Rules once voting starts and on election day

This page explains the rules once advance voting starts, and on election day.

These rules apply to everyone, so it is important to know what you can and can’t do in and around advance voting places and on election day.

Advance voting rules

Campaigning and advertising about parties, candidates or referendum issues is allowed during advance voting, which runs from 3 October to 16 October 2020.

However, you’re not allowed to campaign, or do anything which obstructs or influences voters, inside advance voting places or within 10 metres of their entrances.

An advance voting place is the area set aside for voting, not necessarily the whole building complex.

Inside advance voting places or within 10 metres of the entrance

The following rules apply while you’re inside an advance voting place, or within 10 metres of the entrance, during voting hours.

You can’t influence voters

Don’t influence voters or tell them to vote or not vote for a candidate, party or referendum option in the Cannabis and End of Life Choice Act referendums.

You can’t display or distribute campaign material

Don’t display, wear or distribute campaign material — though you can wear a lapel badge or rosette (see below).

You can’t take part in demonstrations

Don’t take part in demonstrations or processions related to the election or referendums. This includes using a megaphone.

You can’t film or take photos

Don’t film or take photos of voting papers or of people as they vote, or in a way that disrupts voting. Candidates or promoters can be filmed voting if they have arranged it earlier with the Returning Officer.

You can wear a lapel badge or rosette

You may wear a party or referendum lapel badge or rosette. These can feature a referendum option, party colours, a party name and branding, but not a candidate name. Any lapel badge or rosette you wear must include a promoter statement.

You can wear party colours

You may display party colours, such as streamers, but only on people or vehicles.

Anywhere during the advance voting period

The following rules apply everywhere during the advance voting period.

  • You can’t poll voters about how they voted.
  • You may contact voters offering help to get to a voting place.
  • You may campaign elsewhere, outside the buffer zone.
  • You are also free to express political views online.

Election day rules

You’re not allowed to campaign, or do anything which obstructs or influences voters, anywhere on election day, 17 October 2020, until voting closes at 7pm.

You can’t display or distribute campaign material

Don’t display, deliver, wear or distribute campaign material — though you can wear a lapel badge or rosette (see below).

Don’t publish any election or referendum advertising. Be careful about hand-delivering election material on Friday 16 October as voters who don’t check their mail until the next day may think it arrived on election day and complain.

You can’t keep signs or hoardings up

Take down election signs and hoardings before election day. Keep vehicles with signs, bumper stickers, or flags with party or candidate material out of public view on election day. Parties and MPs can leave fixed signs up on their offices and headquarters if they were up before election day and not related to the election campaign.

You can’t influence voters

Don’t influence voters or tell them to vote or not vote for a candidate, party or referendum option.

This rule applies to websites and social media

Don’t post anything to social media or a website on election day that could influence voters. Also make sure your profile pictures on social media don’t include anything that could influence voters.

You may only keep existing election or referendum material up on a website or social media if all the following apply.

  • You don’t update it on election day
  • It’s only available to people who choose to access it
  • The site isn’t advertised

You can’t take part in demonstrations

Don’t take part in demonstrations or processions related to the election or referendums. This includes using a megaphone.

You can’t run polls

Don’t poll voters about how they voted, or anything else to do with the election or referendums.

You can’t film or take photos in voting places

Don’t film or take photos of voting papers or of people as they vote, or in a way that disrupts voting. Candidates or promoters can be filmed voting if they have arranged it earlier with the returning officer.

You can wear a lapel badge or rosette

You may wear a party or referendum lapel badge or rosette. These can feature a referendum option, party colours, a party name and branding, but not a candidate name. Any lapel badge or rosette you wear must include a promoter statement.

You can wear party colours

You may display party colours, such as streamers, but only on people or vehicles.

You can remind people to vote, or offer help to get a voting place

You can contact people to offer help to get to a voting place or remind them it’s election day. You must not influence how they vote. If you’re going to call voters, you can check your ‘script’ with us.

Tell us if someone’s breaking the rules

We don’t actively monitor conduct on election day, or buffer zones during advance voting, but we’ll respond to complaints. Contact us if  you believe someone is breaking the advance voting or election day rules. We can remove material if we find it breaks the rules.

Learn more about making a complaint

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