INFRINGEMENT notices have begun to be sent to Victorians across 75 councils who didn’t vote in the 2020 local council elections and either failed to respond to the Apparent Failure to Vote Notice or did not provide a sufficient reason for not voting.
About 350,000 Victorians received an Apparent Failure to Vote Notice from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), which mailed them out progressively in February and March.
The VEC started the initial mail-out of infringement notices for 11 councils in late March, with the remaining 64 to be mailed during the following four weeks.
People who either did not respond to the first notice, or who did not provide a sufficient reason for not voting, will receive an infringement notice which includes a penalty of $83.
Anyone receiving an infringement notice must respond within 35 days – by either paying the fine, requesting an internal review, or applying to go to court.
Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately is urging people who receive an infringement notice to take it seriously.
“The most important thing is that you respond to the notice before the deadline – otherwise you could receive a Penalty Reminder Notice which carries the original penalty and an additional fee,” he said.
The additional fee is presently set at $25.80.
The VEC encourages non-voters who are unsure what to do, at any stage of the infringements process, to phone 1300 551 575 or head to vec.vic.gov.au/voting/fines-and-reviews.
Voting in the 2020 local council elections was compulsory for all voters on the state electoral roll and Melbourne City Council voters’ roll when the rolls closed at 4pm on August 28, 2020.
To make sure no-one misses an election, the VEC’s VoterAlert SMS and email reminder service is available to all Victorians on the state electoral roll.
People who would like to join the service can do so online at vec.vic.gov.au/voteralert.