Learning about our democracy, elections and the voting process is important if you want to be a voter.

Here is some great information to help you learn more about our government and the voting process.

Democracy

Voting is our opportunity to decide who will be the best people to make decisions for us. These people become politicians. Politicians make the rules about what we can do and what we can’t do. These rules are called laws.

We can choose who becomes a politician because we live in a democratic country. Democracy is when the people who live in a country get to decide who runs the country, or the state, or the local area.

Politicians have to listen to the people that vote for them because, if they don’t, people might vote for somebody else next time.

When you vote in an election, you are saying who you would like to represent your views when decisions are made.

Top Tip!

Voting is about what you think and what you choose. No one can make you vote for someone you don’t like. If you need to, you can take lots of time to think about who you want to vote for. Having the freedom to make your own choice is a really important part of democracy.

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Voting and the Levels of Government

Voting is when you decide who you would like to be the leader of your community, your state or your country. The leaders of our community, state and country are called politicians. Usually, politicians belong to groups who believe similar things. These groups are called political parties. You can read more about political parties in Meet the politicians on this website.

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Local Government

You can vote for the people who lead your local community. These people are called councillors. They are part of your council. Your council makes sure that your community is safe and clean.

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State Government

You can vote for the people who lead your state. These people are part of the State Parliament, the meeting place for state leaders. The party with the most people in the Parliament becomes the State Government. The leader of the State Government is called the Premier.

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Federal Government

You can also vote for the people who lead your country. These people are part of the Federal Parliament, the meeting place for national leaders. The party with the most people in the Parliament becomes the Federal Government. The leader of the Federal Government is called the Prime Minister.

Learn more with the interactive game: Who decides?

Click the image to play. It will take you to the Victorian Electoral Commission’s Passport to Democracy site.)

Elections

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An election is the time when you will be asked to vote.

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At each election, you will get to choose between a number of people – or candidates – in your electorate. Read below to learn about electorates.

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Local Elections

There are local council elections. This is where you choose the councillors who make decisions about your local community.

In Victoria, council elections take place every 4 years, on the last Saturday in November. There will be elections in 2018, 2022, 2026 and so on.

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State Elections

There are State elections. The state is divided into local areas called electorates or seats. The person who gets the most votes in your electorate gets to join the State Parliament. This person will try to make things better for you and your local area. In other words, this person represents you in State Parliament.

In Victoria, council elections take place every 4 years, on the fourth Saturday in October. There will be elections in 2020, 2024, 2028 and so on.

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Federal Elections

There are Federal elections. Australia is divided into local areas. These are also called electorates or seats but they are bigger than the state electorates or seats. This person represents you in Federal Parliament.

Federal elections usually take place every 3 years. The exact date and time changes from one election to another.

For supporters

This document includes additional information in a dual read guide.

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