Voting at Legislative Assembly elections

Voting is compulsory in Northern Territory Legislative Assembly elections and election day is always a Saturday.

Ballot papers 

Following the declaration of the candidates for each division, if there is more than one candidate contesting an election, a draw will be undertaken to determine the order that the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper.

Each candidate's photograph and the candidate’s political affiliation or the word ‘Independent’ (if requested on the nomination form) will be printed next to their name.

Early voting

If you are unable to vote on election day, you 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 it finishes at 6:00 pm.

Postal voting

An application for a postal vote can be received by the returning officer any time in the calendar year of an election.

In order for a postal ballot paper to be issued, an application for a postal vote must be received by the NTEC before:

  • 6:00 pm on the Tuesday before election day for a forwarding address outside Australia
  • 6:00 pm on the Thursday before election day for forwarding adress within Australia

After the public declaration of nominations and the draw to determine the order of candidate names on the ballot paper, ballot papers are printed. Ballot material is then forwarded, as soon as possible, to any electors applying for postal vote material.

Registered postal voters (RPV's) are are automatically sent ballot papers and are not required to lodge a new application for each election.

In order to be admitted to the count, a postal vote must be completed before 6:00 pm on election day. It must also be either:

  • delivered to a voting centre before 6:00 pm on election day; OR
  • received by the returning officer before 12:00 noon on the second Friday following election day.

Registered postal voters are automatically sent ballot papers and are not required to lodge a new application for each election.

Note: There are requirements for the completion of postal voting ballot papers and signing and witnessing of declaration envelopes. See qualifications of witness and duties of witness below.

Qualification of Witness

An authorised witness can be:

  • Within Australia or an external Territory - a person enrolled on the Commonwealth electoral roll, or
  • overseas - a person who is at least 18 years of age.

Duties of a witness

  • Be satisfied as to the identity of the applicant and that the statements contained in the application are true, and
  • See the applicant sign the application.

Mobile voting

Mobile voting is conducted in hospitals, nursing homes, hostels and correctional centres as well as at remote locations for electors who are not able to visit an early voting centre or a voting centre on election day. Small teams of electoral officials travel to the locations scheduled to be visited.

Mobile voting services operate according to advertised dates and times to allow electors to vote during the 10 days before election day and up to 6:00 pm on election day itself.

Mobile voting times vary according to the number of electors to be serviced. Wherever possible, itineraries for mobile voting teams are drawn up taking into account elector movements and any identified best voting times and dates for the locations concerned.
Voting locations and times will be listed on this website at the time of an election.

Election day voting centres

Election day voting centres are appointed in locations where significant numbers of electors are enrolled and a full day of voting is appropriate. Voting centres on election day open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

A list of election day voting centres will be available from this website.

Absent voting

If an elector attends a voting centre outside their enrolled division, they may cast an absent vote which is placed in an envelope and counted after election day. 

Assistance to voters

Where an elector requires assistance with marking his/her ballot paper, assistance can be provided by a person nominated by the voter or by a voting official.
Voting officials who speak languages other than English are often avalable to assist in the voting centre.