education.vic.gov.au

For operational information relating to the 2022 state election, particularly to manage visit requests from MPs and candidates and voting centre requirements refer to: 2022 Victorian state election frequently asked questions (DOCX)External Link (staff login required).

Vaccination requirements do not apply to people attending a school on election day, for a state or federal election.

Policy

This policy outlines school obligations relating to requests to use school premises as voting centres and polling places for state and federal elections.

Summary

Details

Schools as voting centres and polling places

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) is empowered by the Electoral Act 2002 (Vic)External Link to use schools as voting centres during Victorian state elections. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is empowered by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth)External Link to use schools as polling places during federal elections.

The school premises must be made available to the VEC or AEC for use as a voting centre or polling place, even if another event was planned on election day.

Schools are encouraged to be as accommodating as possible to assist the VEC and AEC.

If the VEC intends to use your school as a voting centre for a state election, the minimum amount of notice they will provide will be 7 days and they will confirm the arrangements in writing.

Cardboard furniture and other voting materials will be delivered after this initial notification, which in most instances will occur in the 3 weeks before election day. Furniture collection will occur in the 3 weeks after the event. The booking and collection of furniture will occur on a first-in – first-out basis to ensure that the total period furniture is stored at a school is as short as practicable.

The VEC is not required to pay a fee to use a school as a voting centre, however, the VEC must pay reasonable costs for lighting, air conditioning and cleaning of the premises. The prescribed allowance payable to a school used as a voting centre is $400.

If the AEC intends to use your school as a polling place for a federal election, you will be contacted by them, and the arrangements are to be recorded in a licence (refer to details below).

Working with Children Check

Working with Children ChecksExternal Link are not required by law where VEC or AEC staff will not be engaged in child-related work or working directly with children: refer to the Working with Children Checks and other Suitability Checks for School Volunteers and Visitors Policy.

As a general rule, the VEC or AEC will conduct inspections and set up polling stations out of school hours, in consultation with the principal.

In some circumstances, the VEC or AEC may need to attend the school premises during school hours for the following reasons:

  • an advance visit to see the space where polling will be set up
  • delivery and collection of cardboard furniture and other voting materials
  • access to set up polling stations the day before the election.

In these instances, when the visit occurs during school hours, a member of the school staff will need to escort the VEC or AEC staff while on the premises.

Licensing

For federal elections, schools must enter a polling place licence with the AEC. A licence template (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) is available. The licence sets out the arrangements that will be in place prior to and on election day, including when the AEC can access the school and the licence fee payable.

For state elections, schools are not required to enter a licence with the VEC.

For advice on licensing, contact the Legal Division at legal.services@education.vic.gov.au or 03 9637 3146.

Cleaning – federal election

Arrangements for the cleaning of polling places will be confirmed with the AEC prior to the next federal election.

Cleaning – state election

The VEC voting centre manager is responsible for ensuring that the venue is left tidy with cardboard neatly stacked in the agreed storage location. Rubbish is to be placed in the bins provided by the school. An appropriate storage location will be agreed between the VEC and the school during site inspection.

The school must ensure that the venue is cleaned:

  • prior to the event (i.e. standard clean at the end of the prior day)
  • following the event, prior to the next school day.

Pre- and post-event cleaning should be in line with relevant department routine cleaning guidelines active at the time of the election.

Review of policy

This policy will be reviewed and updated from time to time in accordance with COVID-19 related health advice and VEC and AEC advice on the use of schools as voting centres and polling places.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on the use of school premises as polling places for state and federal elections

Reviewed 05 October 2022

Policy last updated

7 September 2022

Scope

  • Schools
  • School councils

Contact

Executive and Ministerial Services

Was this page helpful?