Australian Capital Territory

Head of State: Governor-General (The Governor-General has certain reserve powers and can disallow legislation, recommend amendments to legislation and under extreme circumstance dissolve the Assembly).

Leader of Government: Chief Minister (The Chief Minister is elected by the Assembly and exercises a number of powers normally exercised by a Governor including appointment of Ministers and signing law into effect).

Electoral Authority: ACT Electoral Commission
Parliaments and Local Councils Legislative Assembly
Terms of Members of Parliament/Council 4-year fixed term.

Elections held on 3rd Saturday of October.
Number of Members 25 elected from 5 electorates.

(Each returning 5 members.)
Electoral legislation Electoral Act (1992)

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act (1994).

Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) Act (1988).
Voting systems

Proportional Representation – Hare-Clark system.

Optional Preferential voting.

Robson Rotation.
Enrolment and Voting Eligibility Same as for Commonwealth with the following exceptions:

  • Prisoners – all ACT prisoners are entitled to enrol and vote in ACT Legislative Assembly elections.
  • Residents of Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island are included in the ACT only for Commonwealth purposes.
Redistribution provisions and frequency Electoral Act (1992).

Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) Act (1988).

Redistribution after every general election.
Joint Rolls Arrangements between Commonwealth, States and Territories Since 1994.
Funding, Donations and Disclosure Provisions The ACT election funding and disclosure provisions provide for the disclosure of electoral expenditure, receipts and debts relating to ACT Legislative Assembly elections, for caps on election expenditure, for payment of election funding to parties and candidates, and for payment of administrative expenditure funding for elected MLAs.

Political entities operating in the ACT such as party groupings, non-party MLA or candidate groupings, and associated entities, are required to submit regular gifts disclosure returns that are totalling $1,000 or more to the Electoral Commissioner.

Election returns are submitted by registered political party groupings, non-party candidates, broadcasters and publishers and third-party campaigners. Annual returns are submitted by registered political parties, members of the ACT Legislative Assembly and associated entities. Donors are not required to submit returns under the ACT scheme.

Disclosure thresholds are $1000.

There is a cap on electoral expenditure by political parties, non-party candidates, associated entities and third party campaigners. The cap applies from 1 January in an election year until polling day.  The cap is adjusted annually by CPI on 1 January each year and published as a notifiable instrument on the ACT Legislation Register.  For the 2020 ACT election, the cap is $42,750 per candidate (up to a total of 25 candidates for a party) and per entity.

Public funding is available in an election to registered political parties and non-party candidates if they meet the required criteria. For the 17 October 2020 election, the public funding was paid at the rate of $862.105 cents per vote for all candidates and parties achieving 4% or more in an electorate (as at 2020, indexed to CPI for future elections).

Administrative expenditure funding is provided to political parties and non-party MLAs for each elected MLA. The administrative expenditure funding rate is adjusted annually by CPI on 1 January each year and published as a notifiable instrument on the ACT Legislation Register.  For 2021 calendar year, the quarterly amount is $5,821.64.
Interesting and Particular Feature(s) The ACT is unique in combining Local and Territory levels of government. The Legislative Assembly is elected to carry out all Territory and Local Government responsibilities.

Voting by computer is available at some ACT polling places.

No absent voting.

Ordinary voting from all polling places and all prepoll voting centres for all electorates.

Robson rotation of candidates' names on ballot papers.

Electioneering and how to vote cards not permitted within 100 metres of a polling place.

Related Australian Capital Territory electoral information