What happens if I didn't vote?

Voting at NSW Local Council elections is compulsory for all enrolled electors.

If an elector is on the roll for a council having an election and they don't vote, they will receive a penalty notice.

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, via novote.elections.nsw.gov.au
  • give a reason in writing for not voting, using the rear of the ‘Apparent Failure to Vote’ notice
  • pay the penalty
  • apply to have the matter heard in court (a court may impose a penalty for an offence of failing to vote of $110 plus court costs).

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

Penalties for not Voting

The penalty for failing to vote at a State election or Local Government election is $55. Penalty payments are remitted to the NSW Treasury and not retained by the NSW Electoral Commission.

Steps for future elections