2004 Federal Election Timetable

Updated: 25 January 2011
Election timetable according to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918
Event Min. – max. period Election 2004

Expiry or dissolution of Parliament

Parliament is dissolved.

n/a Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Issue of writ

A writ commands an electoral officer to hold an election and contains dates for the close of rolls, close of nominations, polling day and the return of the writ. (Constitution s.12, 32) (the Act s.151)

0–10 days Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Close of rolls

Electors have until 8pm, seven days after the writs are issued to enrol or update their details on the Commonwealth electoral roll. (the Act s.155)

7–17 days 8pm Tuesday, 7 September 2004

Close of nominations

It is not possible to nominate as a candidate for election until the writs have been issued. Candidates must nominate by 12 noon on the date specified on the writs as close of nominations. (the Act s.156)

10–37 days 12 noon Thursday, 16 September 2004

Declaration of nominations

The public announcement of nominations received followed by a draw for positions on the ballot paper, 24 hours after the close of nominations. (the Act s.176)

11–38 days 12 noon Friday, 17 September 2004

Polling day

The day on which the majority of electors cast their vote at a polling place. It must be a Saturday and at least 33 days after the issue of the writs. (the Act s.157)

33–68 days Saturday, 9 October 2004

Return of writ

For the House of Representatives, the Electoral Commissioner attaches a certificate to the writ with the name of each candidate elected for each division and returns the Writ to the Governor-General. (the Act s. 284)

For the Senate, the Australian Electoral Officer for each State and Territory attaches a certificate to the Writ with the names of the elected Senators for that State or Territory and returns the Writ to the State Governor (for States) and the Governor-General for (Territories) (the Act s.283)

Writs must be returned within 100 days of their issue.

110 days Writs returned between 1–11 November 2004

Meeting of Parliament

The new Parliament must meet within 30 days of the day appointed for the return of the writs. (Constitution s.5)

140 days (maximum) Tuesday, 16 November 2004