Legislative Assembly

The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly general election timetable is determined by the Electoral Act which specifies:
​Issue of Writ: ​20 days before election day
​Close of roll: ​2 days after the issue of the Writ
​Close of nominations: ​4 days after the issue of the Writ (12:00 noon)
​Election day: ​Fourth Saturday in August every 4 years

In the case of a by-election, the date of the by-election is specified on the Writ with the other key dates.

Issue of Writ

The Writ is a legal document authorising a parliamentary election to be held and confirming the key dates during the election period.

Candidates and nominations

Any person wanting to become a candidate for a Legislative Assembly election must lodge a correctly completed nomination form after the close of the roll and before the close of nominations.

The declaration of nominations takes place soon after nominations close. If more candidates are nominated than there are vacancies, a draw for positions of candidate names on ballot papers then takes place.

Close of electoral roll

Any person eligible to vote must enrol or update their details before the date of rolls close set out in the election timetable.

Early voting

Voters unable to vote on election day may be eligible to vote at an early voting centre. The locations and opening times of early voting centres will be listed on this website at the time of each election.

Early voting commences as soon as possible after ballot papers are available and operates during normal office hours except on the Friday before election day when office hours are extended to 6:00 pm.

Postal voting

Mailing of postal votes commences as soon as possible after ballot papers are printed, following the draw for candidate positions on ballot papers.

The mail out of ballot material ceases at 6:00 pm on:

  • Tuesday, 4 days before election day to overseas forwarding addresses, and
  • Thursday, 2 days before election day to addresses within Australia.

Remote voting

Remote voting takes place during the ten days before election day and on election day.

Vote counting

A preliminary count of ordinary votes in voting centres takes place as soon as the voting centres close on eleciton day.

A preliminary scrutiny and count of postal and early votes also commences immediately after 6:00 pm on election day.

All ballot papers are rechecked in the week after election day and absent, declaration and further postal votes added to the counct.

Postal votes must be received by 12:00 noon on the 2nd Friday after election day and a final count of postal votes takes place shortly after that time.

The distribution of preferences takes place after the final count of postal votes to determine the successful candidate.

Declaration of the poll

The results of the election are declared as soon as possible after the completion of the distribution of preferences.


​Election timetable
Day No. Day Time Critical date Electoral Act Section(s)
​​Week 1
​1 ​Monday ​Issue of writ ​s28
​3 ​Wednesday ​8:00 pm ​Close of roll (2 days after writ issue) ​s8
​5 ​Friday ​12:00 Noon ​Nominations close (4 days after writ issue) ​ss28 & 34
​​Draw for positions on ballot paper (as soon as practicable after the close of nominations) ​s4137 & ​s41
Determined by Commission Postal voting and early voting commences (ASAP after ballot papers are printed) ​ss3, 62, 69
10 ​Wednesday ​Remote voting commences ​(9 days after writ issue) s3
Week 2
​16 ​Tuesday 6:00 pm​ ​Postal mail-out ceases to overseas addresses ​s62(3)(a)
Week 3
​18 ​Thursday ​6:00 pm ​Postal mail-out ceases to Australian addresses ​s62(3)(b)
19​ ​Friday ​​6:00 pm ​Early voting ceases ​s3
​20 ​Saturday ​8:00 am to
6:00 pm
​Election day
(19 days after writ issue)
Voting commences 8:00 am
Voting centre and remote voting cease 6:00 pm
​ss3, 28
Week 4
33 ​Friday ​12:00 noon ​Deadline for the receipt of postal votes
(2nd Friday following election day)
​36 ​* Monday ​10:00 am Formal declaration of the poll
(as soon as practicable)
* NT Electoral Commission Policy - not set by legislation.