New South Wales is having its state election tomorrow. For some people, that means heading on down to their local polling station for a democracy sausage and some home-made lamingtons. Unless of course your local fails to deliver such delicious sustenance, in which case it should be referred as "Un-Australian" and/or "gone to the dogs".
For many other Aussies, an election means voting online. If you're not sure how to do it, and want to know if you're eligible, we've got you covered.
Are You Eligible?
Not everyone is able to utilise the iVote system. So if you're planning on nursing a hangover on Saturday morning (I'm looking at you, IT Journalism Awards attendees) you're out of luck.
This is the criteria for eligibility:
- Are blind or have low vision
- Are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a voting centre because you have a disability or have difficulties reading
- Are a silent elector
- Live more than 20km from a voting centre
- Will be interstate or overseas during election day
How To Apply
You have until 1pm AEDT on March 23 to apply for an iVote. You can either apply online, or call 1300 24 86 83 If you need to call outside of Australia the number is +61 2 9290 5287.
You'll need two forms of ID (with at least one being photo), as well as your date of birth and a residential address. You will also need to choose a password.
Upon completion you'll be sent an iVote number via email, SMS, post or phone. Considering that the election is tomorrow, we recommend avoiding having your iVote number posted.
Voting is already open for successful applicants, so you don't have to wait until Saturday if you don't want to.
How To Cast Your iVote
You can cast an iVote online from the NSW Electoral Commission website.
You can then use your iVote number and nominated password to log in and vote.
You can also cast your vote via phone in two different ways:
Operator-assisted by phone - you can call 1300 24 86 83 within Australia or +61 2 9290 5287 outside Australia. You'll need your iVote number and password. The NSW Electoral commission recommends not telling the operator your name in order to maintain voting anonymity.
Touch-tone phone - you can call the same numbers as above for this option, and you'll need your iVote number and a PIN. There doesn't seem to be any further information on the website about where this PIN comes from. Our bet is that you can request one when your register to iVote via telephone. We highly recommend discussing this with the operator if you require this option to make sure you're provided with correct information and instructions.
Once you have cast your vote, you can check to see whether it was received and verify it on the iVote website or by downloading the app for Android or iOS. This app can't be used for voting, just for checking on your vote.
It's important to note that if you want to verify you iVote you need to do it on a different device to which you cast it on. For example, if you cast your iVote on a laptop, you can only verify it with a mobile or a tablet.
Your selections will remain visible for one hour after you've voted, so be sure to check straight away so you know your vote will be counted. If you're not concerned about verification, that's okay too - it isn't mandatory.