Voters cast their votes.
Voters cast their votes. Melanie Keyte

How you could get voting out of the way TODAY

IF YOU'RE heading to the polling booth on NSW State election day seems like a huge effort, there's a few different options to get your vote in before March 23.

As many voters start to think about which candidate will get their vote, lots of people are also chosing to vote early and avoid the queues on election day.

NSW Electoral Commissioner John Schmidt said voters who might not be able to vote on election day may be eligible for other voting options.

"These include voting at an early voting centre, postal voting and iVote online and telephone voting," he said.

This year people will be able to cast their vote early at one of the pre-polling booths, which opens across the state on Monday, March 11 at 8am and closes at 6pm on Friday, March 22.

Ballina voters have the option to pre-poll at:

  • Ballina Election Manger's Office, 55 Dalley St,Mullumbimby
  • Byron Bay Community Centre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay
  • Kentwell Community Centre, Cnr Moon St and Bangalow Rd, Ballina

While, voters in the Lismore electorate can cast their vote at:

  • Kyogle Memorial Institute Hall, 6-8 Stratheden St, Kyogle
  • Lismore Early Voting Centre, 100 Molesworth St, Lismore
  • Lismore Election Manager's Office, 146-148 Molesworth St, Lismore
  • Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre, Canvas and Kettle Function Room, 10-14 Tumbulgum Rd, Murwillumbah
  • Tenterfield & District Soldiers Memorial Hall, 96 Molesworth St, Tenterfield

During the pre-polling period of Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 22, all pre-polling stations will be open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm on Thursday, March 21 and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

The pre-polling booths are closed Sundays.

Another option voters have access to this year is to cast their vote online ahead of election day.

Voters can register for the iVote voting option from 10am on Monday, February 11 and will have until 1pm on Saturday, March 23 to register for the iVote system.

Anyone voting online will have until 6pm on Saturday, March 23 to vote.

Postal voting will also be available ahead of the NSW State election.

Applications for postal votes will open at 10am on Monday, February 11 and voters will have one week to apply for the postal vote, as applications close at 6pm on Monday, March 18.

Postal vote ballot papers will be sent to voters from Tuesday, March 12.

Mr Schmidt said voting is compulsory for all enrolled electors and the fine for not voting is $55.

"Voters can subscribe to the NSW Electoral Commission's free election reminder service which will help remind them when they need to vote at a NSW State or local government election," he said.

There's a number of reasons people might choose to vote ahead of election day.

You may be eligible to vote in person before election day at an early voting centre if you:

  • will be outside New South Wales on election day.
  • will be more than 8km from a voting centre in your electorate, ward or council area on election day.
  • will be travelling and unable to attend a voting centre on election day.
  • are seriously ill or infirm, and due to such illness or infirmity will be unable to attend a voting centre.
  • are approaching maternity.
  • have religious membership or beliefs that prevent you from attending a voting centre on election day.
  • are in a correctional centre and prevented from attending a voting centre on election day.
  • are caring for a person outside of a hospital setting, which prevents you from attending a voting centre on election day.
  • will be working on election day.
  • are a silent elector.
  • are a person with a disability.
  • believe that attending a voting centre on election day will place your personal safety or the safety of your family at risk.

For more information about voting early, registering for the postal vote of iVote or polling booth locations, call 1300 135 736 or visit www.elections.nsw.gov.au

And if you forget to vote ahead of election day, polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday, March 23.