What is the difference between the two 'elections' happening at the moment?

There are two important events happening in October 2023 that involve voting, but they are not the same. The first one is a referendum, which is a national vote on a proposed change to the Constitution. The 2023 referendum asks Australians if they want to amend the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

The referendum is organised by the Australian Electoral Commission on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. The Shire has no role in the referendum.

The second one is the Local Government Ordinary Election, which is a local vote on who will be the President and some of the Councillors for the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale. This election is run by the Western Australian Electoral Commission on behalf of the Shire.

Why are they happening at the same time?

The date of the referendum was chosen by the Commonwealth Government and announced by the Prime Minister. Local government elections across the State have a fixed date by law. The official day of each event is different, but there is a period when voting is open for both.

Do I have to go to different places to vote?

Yes. You cannot vote for both events at the same location.

Is voting mandatory?

Voting is mandatory for the referendum. Voting in the local government election is voluntary, but we encourage all eligible voters to participate.

When can I vote?

The referendum is on 14 October 2023. You can vote early in Western Australia from 2 October 2023. The local government election is on 21 October 2023. You can vote early now.

Where can I find out where to vote?

You can visit a dedicated website by the Australian Electoral Commission to find out where you can vote in the referendum. You can visit the Shire's website to find out where you can vote in the local government election.

Can I vote at the referendum at the Shire

No, you will need to attend one of the Australian Electoral Commission’s polling places.