Media advisory: Tonight’s count
Updated: 21 May 2022
What is counted tonight?
- All votes cast today will be counted tonight
- The majority of pre-poll votes cast will also be counted tonight
- There will be large pre-poll counts that will not be available until late in the night
- All counting will cease at midnight local time
What about postal votes?
- 2.7 million postal vote applications were received this federal election, up from 1.5 million in 2019
- Postal votes are not counted tonight
- The first small postal vote counts will be available from Sunday afternoon
- This is earlier than previously when postal counts did not occur until the Tuesday
- The AEC is at its limits of recruitment (105,000 staff) and WHS responsibilities
Will there be a result tonight?
- Two out of the previous four federal elections have not seen a clear result on election night
- If the result is close, we may not know who forms Government tonight
- The AEC never declares seats on election night, legally we cannot.
When can seats be legally declared?
- A seat has never been legally declared in the first few days following election day
- To declare a seat formally the margin in the contest has to be bigger than the total of votes potentially left to be counted
- A mandatory secondary count of every ballot paper has to occur before a formal declaration
Our advice to party leaders
- A letter from the Electoral Commissioner to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition regarding the counting process can be found on the counting page.