Understanding The NSW Fine For Not Voting: Everything You Need To Know
While around 90% of Australians vote in federal elections, those who don’t must pay a fine. Sometimes, you can offer a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote, so you don’t incur a fine for not voting in NSW state.
Australian citizens over 18 are enrolled to vote. If an enrolled voter doesn’t show up to the polls on voting day, they’ll likely get issued a penalty notice with details about penalty fees, court fees, and other next steps.
The next Australian federal election is expected in 2025, so it’s vital to know your rights, understand a sufficient reason for not voting, and know how much the fine is for not voting NSW.
JJ Lawyers criminal defence services in Sydney, Australia, are the experts in defence law. If you’ve encountered legal troubles due to failure to vote in NSW, contact a legal professional to guide you and advocate.
Continue reading to learn more about the fine for not voting NSW, paying the penalty, and what court defences our team at JJ Lawyers has up our sleeves that can help you for failure to vote.
How Much Is the Fine for Not Voting NSW?
Can You Challenge the Fine for Not Voting NSW?
The fine for not voting NSW is capped at $55. In other Australian states, the penalty for failure to vote is a $20 fine for the first offence.
The Electoral Commission has three months to issue a penalty notice from election day. Once it’s issued, you have 28 days to respond with a valid reason for not voting or the payment of the fine.
What Are the Penalties for Not Paying the Fine for Not Voting?
If you get a penalty notice for not voting and you ignore it, there are further penalties for not paying your failure to vote fine.
Avoiding the initial $55 fine for not voting in NSW can result in another fine of $65. Then you may see an additional $225 in further penalties, a court date, and associated court fees.
Does NSW Have Compulsory Voting?
All of Australia, including New South Wales, has compulsory voting. In 1924, the Commonwealth Electoral Act changed voting from a right to a responsibility by adding a fine for the offence of failing to vote on election days.
The Australian Electoral Commission or AEC and NSW Electoral Commission oversee nationwide and local government elections.
The NSW Electoral Commission will issue a penalty notice for apparent failure to vote in NSW. The voter will find details about fines and the next steps in this notice. However, before that happens, continue reading to avoid fines and penalties.
Valid Reasons Not to Vote
The Local Government Act 1993 No 30 and Electoral Act 2017 No 66 outline valid reasons not to vote accepted by the NSW Electoral Commission. Some of the sufficient reasons for not voting may include the following:
- You were sick
- Physical obstruction
- Natural weather events or disasters
- You were on the way to the polls but were diverted to save a life
You can also submit another sufficient reason for not voting for the Electoral Commissioner to review and determine if your reasons for not voting are valid. That said, there are some cases in which an appeal may be denied, and you’ll still need to pay the fine or appeal your case in court.
Invalid Reasons Not to Vote
Even after writing to the Electoral Commission stating your reason for not voting, you may be denied and still must pay the fine for not voting in NSW. Some of the invalid excuses for not voting may include the following:
- Not knowing it was voting day
- Belonging to a political organisation that prohibits you from voting
You’ll get a notice from the NSW Electoral Commission that your reasons were not accepted, and you must continue to pay the fine. We’ll discuss the penalties for not voting in detail below.
How To Pay the Fine for Not Voting
What you need to do if facing a fine for not voting in NSW
If you want to pay your fine for not voting NSW, follow the steps below.
- Step One: Visit the NSW Electoral Commission website
- Step Two: Click Pay your fine
- Step Three: Enter your document number, date of birth, and postcode
- Step Four: Log in and follow the prompts
Your penalty notice will include all the details of how to pay your fine and provide you with contact information. Accepted payment methods include BPAY or cheque by mail.
What Are Court Defences Available for Failing To Pay the Fine?
What Can JJ Lawyers Do to Help You Avoid Court for Failing To Pay the Fine?
While filing an appeal or review with a valid reason for failing to vote is an option that avoids a court date, you can still choose to dispute your fine in court.
The dispute process is time-consuming and often needs to yield the results clients seek, meaning they’ll go to court regardless.
Instead of appealing to the Electoral Commission, our expert team can help defend your case in court. Here, we’ll present why you missed a voting day with a sympathetic air you can’t express in a handwritten appeal.
While each case is unique, the team at JJ Lawyers will handle every case with professionalism, care, and compassion. See professional legal advice before proceeding with a court dispute is essential.
So, What’s the Fine For Not Voting NSW?
Failure to vote in elections in Australia results in a fine. The fine for not voting in NSW is $55. However, failing to pay can result in fines upwards of $200, court cases, and court fees.
Now that you know the answer to how much the fine is for not voting NSW, you’re prepared for the next election day—if you don’t wish to vote in NSW, then providing valid and sufficient reasons can exempt you from fines for apparent failure to vote.
If you don’t offer a valid reason, head to the polls to cast your vote, fork over the $55 fine, or contact us for expert legal advice to determine how you should best move forward.
See our dedicated law blog for more simple breakdowns of various crucial criminal law, family law & traffic law, and civil rights law legal topics. We break down other pertinent legal issues such as ‘Double Demerits NSW: Everything You Need To Know‘, ‘The Risks Of Representing Yourself In Court‘, ‘Amendments To The Bail Act NSW In 2022‘ & More!