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Enrol to vote before 8pm on Monday April 18, 2022 to be ready for the May 21 federal election day

Voting Australians have been encouraged to check their enrolment details before the enrolment cut-off for the federal election in May.

Australians will have until 8pm tonight to update their enrolments via the Australian Electoral Commission website in order to be ready for the May 21, 2022 election date.

Since the election was announced last week, the AEC has processed 450,000 enrolments, with at least 50,000 of those being new enrolments.

Speaking with ABC News Breakfast earlier today, the AEC's commissioner Tom Rogers said a 'disinformation register' has been set up to counter any false information that may be circulating ahead of the election.

STOP, CHECK, CONSIDER: The Australian Electoral Commission has set up an online disinformation register after conspiracies "bordering on the unhinged" circulate ahead of May 21, 2022. Picture: Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

STOP, CHECK, CONSIDER: The Australian Electoral Commission has set up an online disinformation register after conspiracies "bordering on the unhinged" circulate ahead of May 21, 2022. Picture: Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

"We've seen an unprecedented level of conspiracy theories and other commentaries online," Mr Rogers said.

"It's been worrying, in fact, for the first time ever we've even established a disinformation register which people can access on our website."

Mr Rogers said there had already been some claims made online that "bordered on the unhinged".

Here's what you need to do to be ready for the May 21 election:

Make sure you're enrolled to vote

If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 years or older, and lived at your address for one month, voting is compulsory.

You must be correctly enrolled by 8pm, Monday, 18, April 2022.

If you are already enrolled but need to update your name or address, you can update your details online.

If you are not enrolled and going overseas for a short period use this form to enrol. In all other circumstances see information on going overseas.

Need to know more about enrolment processes, check out these frequently asked questions

Who are you voting for?

So, every three years, Australia votes for a new House of Representatives. Also known as the lower house, this is where your local members end up once they've been elected.

It also votes for half of a new Senate because half of those sitting senators have come up for re-election, while the other half remain in their seats.

In order to call an election, the Prime Minister will visit Government House in Canberra to ask the Governor-General to dissolve the parliament and issue 'the writs'.

This is the formal instruction to the AEC to hold an election.

There needs to be between 33 and 68 days between the issued writs and the day of the election.

Related:

Making an informed choice on the ballot

The AEC will then carry out a draw to determine where each candidate will appear on the ballot paper. The candidate that takes the enviable top position is said to have picked up the 'donkey votes'.

What is a donkey vote? It's when a voter numbers the candidates in the order they appear on the paper. It will still be counted because they have technically followed the voting instructions.

A donkey vote is not an informal vote, which is a vote that does not count because it has not followed the voting instructions.

For example, if the voter draws a flower (or something more explicit...) over the ballot paper, instead of numbering the candidates.

This kind of vote will be discarded and won't count towards the allocation of seats in parliament. It is, essentially, a wasted vote.

Avoid making an informal or a donkey vote on election day, and arm yourself with an informed understanding of who's running for your electorate.

This story AEC sets up 'disinformation register' to counter online election conspiracies first appeared on The Canberra Times.