State elections and by-elections

If you are unable to attend an early voting centre or a polling booth on polling day, you may be eligible to apply for a postal vote. Strict eligibility criteria apply.

View postal voting eligibility criteria

You are eligible to vote by post if, on polling day, you:

  • are more than 8 km from a polling booth
  • are travelling
  • are ill, infirm or disabled – preventing you from attending a polling booth
  • are due to give birth shortly
  • are caring for someone who is ill, infirm or disabled - preventing you from attending a polling booth
  • have religious beliefs - preventing you from attending a polling booth
  • are working and unable to leave your workplace to vote
  • are a resident of a declared institution being a hospital, convalescent home, nursing home, home for the aged, hostel for the aged or infirm, prison or other places of confinement
  • have your address suppressed on the electoral roll (a silent elector)
  • are subject to a direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 requiring you to quarantine or isolate during the hours of polling.

Application forms are available at Australia Post outlets, by calling ECSA on 1300 655 232 or by downloading one from the website during an election. The deadline for receipt of applications is on the Thursday preceding polling day. Postal voters must complete their ballot papers before 6:00 pm on polling day and have up to 7 days to return their envelope to the electoral commission.

Permanent postal voting

ECSA maintains a register of voters who are permanently prevented from attending a polling booth at state elections and by-elections and meet certain criteria. These voters are called registered declaration voters for state elections and general postal voters for federal elections.

Once registered, ECSA will automatically send out a voting pack to you at every state election or by-election. You do not need to re-apply for future elections.

To apply to become a registered declaration voter you must be enrolled and meet one of the following criteria that prevent you from attending a polling place on polling day: 

  • Distance – you are enrolled at an address more than 20 km away from any polling place
  • Illness – you are a patient at a hospital or nursing home and unable to travel to a polling place
  • Infirmity – you are unable to travel to a polling place due to being infirm or seriously ill at home
  • Caring for others – caring for a person who is seriously ill or infirm
  • Physical disability – you are unable to sign your name due to a physical incapacity
  • Religion – your religious beliefs or membership of a religious order prevent you from attending a polling place on polling day
  • Overseas – you are registered as an overseas elector
  • Silent elector – you are an elector whose address has been suppressed

Apply to become a permanent postal voter

To join the register of declaration voters, you need to complete and sign a form: Registered postal voter information and application form

This is an external link to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) which manages registrations for ECSA. Please note that the one form allows you to register both as a registered declaration voter for South Australian elections and as a general postal voter for federal elections.

For any questions about the register, call the AEC on 13 23 26.


Council elections (local government)

Voting in council elections is conducted by post. All election materials, including your ballot papers, are automatically mailed directly to the postal address you provided on the electoral roll.  It's important you keep your address details up to date.

Once nominations close for a council election (including a supplementary election), ballot papers are printed and postal ballot packs are sent to your nominated postal address. More information can be found on this website at the time of an election.