STUDYING UP: Scots PGC College students Alicia Seery and Matthew Locke study the Australian Electoral Commission website ahead of their first-ever voting experience in five weeks time.
STUDYING UP: Scots PGC College students Alicia Seery and Matthew Locke study the Australian Electoral Commission website ahead of their first-ever voting experience in five weeks time. Erin Smith

First-time voters set to make a difference

ALICIA Seery and Matthew Locke are both due to turn 18 within the next five weeks, just in time to tick the box on their first-ever ballot paper in the federal election.

The pair are Year 12 boarders at Scots PGC College.

Matthew said he would turn 18 on August 31, one week before the federal poll.

"I found out on (Sunday) that I was going to have to vote," he said.

Matthew said he had been following the news and understood some of what the candidates and parties were offering.

"I want to make an informed decision so I will be doing some research over the next few weeks," he said.

"I also plan to ask some teachers," he said.

Alicia, who will celebrate her 18th birthday on August 8, also said she wanted to make her vote count.

Alicia said she was paying close attention to what both parties had to offer in regards to the carbon tax.

"My parents are farmers and the carbon tax has affected us pretty badly," she said.

Neither Matthew nor Alicia is nervous about voting, but each is planning to ask their parents for some advice about the procedure.

Alicia is already enrolled to vote and Matthew means to lodge his electoral enrolment form this week.

Voting is compulsory in Australia, so if you will be 18 on September 7 you are required to vote.

If you do not make it to the polls and do not have a valid reason you will be issued with a $20 fine.

The cut-off date to enrol to vote is August 12 - Monday next week.

To register head to the Australian Electoral Commission website.

You can also change your address and name through the AEC website.

How to enrol

  • Head to http://www.aec.gov.au
  • Click on the button that says enrol to vote
  • Fill out the form
  • Hit submit, by 8pm on August 12.


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