Governor-General David Hurley has issued the writ for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum, meaning postal vote applications are now open.
Eligible Australians who are not enrolled to vote have until 8 pm on Monday, 18 September, to get onto the electoral rolls in time for the 14 October referendum.
With just a week for people to enrol or update details, the Australian Electoral Commission has shifted into the next gear in the lead-up to polling day.
Postal vote applications will close at 6 pm on Wednesday, 11 October, providing a month for people to apply for a postal vote if they cannot make it in person. But they must be on the electoral rolls by 18 September.
“People should only apply if they cannot make it to an in-person voting centre,” an AEC statement says.
“There will be thousands of polling places open from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday, 14 October, hundreds of early voting centres available in the two-week early voting period, and mobile voting and in-person voting centres overseas.
“The AEC is aware that some people are receiving postal vote applications, or links to online postal vote applications, in the mail from third parties (eg political parties).
“This is legal and occurs every election/referendum. However, the AEC encourages people who need a postal vote to apply directly through the AEC’s website instead.
“Applying for a postal vote directly through the AEC’s website means a ballot paper will be able to be posted out quicker. The AEC also operates under the Privacy Act and postal vote applications involve the disclosure of personal details.”
The AEC is also looking for up to 100,000 temporary staff to work at polling booths on referendum day and even in the lead-up to it.
Commissioner Tom Rogers encouraged people seeking a bit of extra money and a valuable experience to look at their calendars.
“With a date locked in, people will now know whether or not they can put their hand up to work with us in October,” Mr Rogers said.
” It’s paid work – a boost to help pay the bills, plan something nice or even get ready for Christmas.”
“We become one of the nation’s largest employers ever so briefly – most roles are a single day’s employment with training provided, but some roles stretch over a few weeks.
“This will be a unique opportunity to work at the first federal referendum this century and add a pretty rare experience to your resume.”
The official referendum pamphlet outlining the Yes and No cases for the referendum continues to be distributed to households across Australia.
Almost 13 million copies of the pamphlet are being delivered as unaddressed mail.
Pamphlets being delivered are written in English only, but it has also been translated into 35 foreign languages, a range of First Nations languages and accessible formats such as large print and audio files. Online versions of the pamphlet are available via the AEC website for the public to view.
Additionally, on the day of the referendum, posters will be erected at polling venues that will link to the online version of the pamphlet for people to view prior to voting.
To enrol to vote, or check your enrolment, visit the AEC.