While voting in the NT Legislative Assembly general election is compulsory for all Territory residents over 18 years of age, a few things have changed due to Covid-19.
To ensure a safe election for all Territorians, the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC) have a Covid-19 management plan, which includes:
• More mobile and early voting centres
• A postal voting awareness campaign
• Strict social distancing, single-use pencils and hand sanitiser at all voting centres. Mobile and early voting centres will operate from 10-21 August.
Mobile voting teams provide services for people who are unable to attend a voting centre, including those in aged care facilities, hospital, prison or living in remote communities. NTEC remote voting teams will visit nearly 180 locations this year.
NT elections are held every four years under preferential voting, where you rank candidates in order of preference. Unlike federal elections, NT ballot papers include a photo of the candidate, making it easier for voters to make their choice. The three main political parties recognised in the Territory are the Labor Party (ALP) led by Chief Minister Michael Gunner, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) led by Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro and the new Territory Alliance (TA) led by a former CLP Chief Minister Terry Mills.
The incumbent ALP government are attempting to win a second four-year term. Officially eight NT parties are registered with NTEC — Animal Justice Party, ALP, Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protest Water (formerly Territory Party), CLP, Federation Party Northern Territory (formerly Country Alliance), NT Greens Inc, Shooters and Fishers Party, and TA.
The Territory’s 1,420,000 square kilometres has 25 Legislative Assembly seats with an average of 5,555 electors in each division. Two new divisions created since 2016 are Gwoja, incorporating Stuart, and Mulka, incorporating Nhulunbuy. As of 9 June, 139,516 Territorians were enrolled to vote, 3000 more than for the 2016 election.
It’s estimated that approximately 25,000 eligible Territorians are not enrolled, with 16,000 considered to be Aboriginal Territorians. To encourage people to enrol, the NTEC has produced advertisements in English and eight Aboriginal languages. Enrolment registration closes at 5pm on 31 July.
To check your enrolment details, the electoral boundaries, change your address or request a postal vote online visit ntec.net.gov.au or call NTEC on 1800 698 683.