Electoral Act 2002 (review)
VCAT can review certain decisions by the Victorian Electoral Commission about enrolments on the register of electors, registration of political parties and the registration or alteration of how-to-vote cards under the Electoral Act 2002.
This page provides general information and shouldn't be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you're unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.
Among other things, the Electoral Act 2002 establishes the Victorian Electoral Commission and sets out the law and procedures about elections in Victoria.
Cases we can hear
Decisions about enrolments
You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of a decision about your enrolment on the register of electors if:
- you forwarded a claim for enrolment or provisional enrolment and have not been enrolled
- you forwarded a notice of change of your address and it remains unchanged on the register of electors
- the Commission refused to include your name on the register of electors under section 25 of the Act, which relates to inappropriate names
- the Commission removed your name from the register of electors after an objection to your enrolment based on you being not entitled to be enrolled, or that your address is wrong (section 38 objection).
Decisions about the registration of a political party
You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of the following decisions by the Commission about political party registration if your interests are affected by the decision to:
- register a political party
- refuse an application to register a political party
- grant an application to make changes to the register of political parties
- refuse an application to make changes to the register of political parties
- de-register a political party
- refuse an application for re-registration (VCAT cannot make an order during an election period).
Decisions about how-to-vote cards
Anyone can apply to VCAT for a review the Commission’s decsion about the:
- registration of a how-to-vote card
- registration of an amended how-to-vote card.
Cases we can't help with
We can’t accept:
- some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
- cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law.
Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications
Section 42, 60 and 82A of the Electoral Act 2002
Documents you need to apply
If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.
For decisions about enrolments and the registration of a political party, you must make your application within 28 days from when:
- the decision was made, or
- if you have requested a statement of reasons, the date the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.
For decisions about how-to-vote cards, you must apply no later than noon on the next working day of the Commission advising the applicant of their decision.
Before 5pm on the next working day after receiving an application about how-to-vote cards, VCAT must either:
- determine the application
- give the applicant and the Commission directions as to the changes required to obtain registration by the Commission.
What can VCAT order?
Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:
- affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
- vary the decision
- set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
- set aside the decision and send back the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
- invite the decision maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.
We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.
We can't give you legal advice. This means we can't tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.
Seek legal help if you're unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You don't need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.
Find legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.