Candidate eligibility

For both the Senate and the House of Representatives, a person nominated must be:

  • 18 years of age or older,
  • an Australian citizen, and
  • an elector entitled to vote at a House of Representatives election or qualified to become such an elector.

Constitutional disqualifications

You cannot nominate for the Senate or the House of Representatives if you are disqualified by section 44 of the Constitution and have not remedied that disqualification before nomination. Examples of this include:

  • a citizen or subject of a foreign power;
  • serving a prison sentence of 12 months or more;
  • is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent;
  • holding an office of profit under the Crown (e.g. Public Servant); or
  • a permanent member of the Australian Defence Force.

If you have any doubts as to your qualifications under the Constitution, we recommend that you seek your own legal advice. The Australian Electoral Commission does not provide specific legal advice to prospective candidates.

Mandatory qualification checklist

The qualification checklist relating to section 44 of the Australian Constitution (the checklist) forms part of the candidate nomination form. Intending candidates must complete the checklist and provide documents as required, to help demonstrate their eligibility to be elected to Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution.

Intending candidates must complete all mandatory questions in the checklist. They must also provide additional documentation in response to a question in the checklist if they contend to have renounced citizenship, or lost the status as a subject or citizen of another country.

Failure to complete the mandatory questions contained in the qualification checklist, or to provide additional documentation as required by Section 170B of the Act, is grounds for the Electoral Commissioner (or delegate) to reject a nomination under section 172 of the Act.

The AEC will check that requirements have been fulfilled, however does not have the authority to determine the eligibility of any candidate on the basis of information provided in the checklist or any additional documentation.

Intending candidates may choose to provide additional documentation to the AEC to support contentions made in the checklist. All additional documentation must be provided together with the nomination.

The checklist and any additional documentation received with the nomination will be published on the AEC website as soon as practicable after the declaration of nominations. Checklists and additional documentation will remain published until the period for filing a petition disputing the election under section 355 of the Act has expired.

For each candidate the AEC will publish:

  • Candidate details approved for public release
  • The qualification checklist
  • Any additional documentation provided by the candidate.

After the return of the writs for the election, checklists and additional documentation for people elected as Senators or Members of Parliament will be tabled to the Senate or House of Representatives.

Intending candidates must redact, omit or delete any information that they do not want published on the AEC website. This includes consideration of the personal information of other individuals whose details may be included in the additional documentation.

Intending candidates must redact the address of any silent elector contained in the additional documentation, unless the person has consented to the publication of the address. It is the intending candidate’s responsibility to carefully examine and redact, omit or delete any information they do not want published on the AEC website before submitting the additional documentation.

The AEC may omit, redact or delete, from a document published or to be published any information that the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied on reasonable grounds is unreasonable, unacceptable, inappropriate or offensive. The AEC must also delete the address of a silent elector if the Electoral Commissioner becomes aware that they have not provided consent for their address to be published.

Updated: 16 September 2021