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Our News and Views

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In a few weeks’ time, Victorians will have their say in the State elections. It's important that everyone has the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote, regardless of their housing situation. Homelessness services including VincentCare can assist people experiencing homelessness to enrol and vote in the upcoming State election.

Jolene Elberth from VincentCare believes that voting is a fundamental right. “Voting is one of the ways that we can voice our opinions about issues around housing and homelessness, so it’s really important that we support our clients to enrol and vote in the upcoming elections.”

The State government makes decisions that directly affect people who are experiencing homelessness and the community they live in. It is responsible for housing, homelessness support services, public transport, police, fire and ambulance services and public schools.

To be able to vote in the State election, people with no fixed address need to enrol by completing a ‘no fixed address’ form.

 “The regular voting enrolment form requires that you have been living at your address for at least a month so many clients, especially those who are currently homeless or in crisis, may not know that they can enrol using the ‘No Fixed Address’ form.

“You don't need ID to enrol, you just need someone who is on the electoral roll for the Victorian State election to say they know you. And you won’t be fined if you can’t vote due to your housing situation,” said Jolene.

Information about elections will be sent to the address nominated on the form. This may be a homelessness service, such as VincentCare.

Jolene said that fear of having their address details made public may prevent people from enrolling to vote.

“Some of our clients experience homelessness because of family violence and they may not enrol out of fear that their address will become public. We can help those clients to enrol using the “silent elector” form, so that their address is kept confidential.”

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) early voting service for people experiencing homelessness will be at the Northern Community Hub, 175 Glenroy Rd, Glenroy from 10am-12pm on Monday 19 November.

“By having the mobile voting site at the Northern Community Hub, clients can come to a place that they already know and are comfortable with to cast their vote. It’s about doing any little thing that we can to ensure our clients’ right to vote is protected,” said Jolene.

Quick guide to voting while homeless

  1. Enrol to vote. Visit vec.vic.gov.au/homelessnotvoteless and download the ‘no fixed address’ enrolment form.
  2. Return the form in one of four ways:
    1. Post: Australian Electoral Commission
      Reply Paid 9867
      Melbourne VIC 3001
      (No stamp needed is posted in Australia)
    2. Fax: 02 6293 7604
    3. Upload: Upload your scanned signed form at www.aec.gov.au/return
    4. In person: To any AEC office
  3. Come to VincentCare Northern Community Hub, 175 Glenroy Rd, Glenroy on Monday 19 November between 10am-12pm.

For more information on homelessness and voting, including the ‘no fixed address’ enrolment form, visit vec.vic.gov.au/homelessnotvoteless

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