Run as a candidate
A candidate is a person who puts themselves forward for election. Candidates are what elections are all about and they are clearly an important part of the democratic process.
With young people feeling increasingly alienated from politics, it’s vital that the people who run as candidates come from a range of backgrounds and age groups
Who can run as a candidate in an election?
Generally you need to be over 18 years old and on the electoral roll. You don’t have to be a member of a political party.
There are different rules for different kinds of elections so it’s best to check what the rules are for:
- Local and State elections with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) (new window).
- Federal elections with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) (new window).
More information is provided on these websites closer to election times.
How do you register?
If you meet all the criteria, you need to lodge a nomination form along with a deposit (ranging between $250 for local elections to $1,000 to run in the Senate). This must be submitted to the returning officer (the person in charge of the election) by the due date.
Your deposit is returned if you receive over 4% of all first preference votes. You may also need to get a number of people on the electoral roll to support your nomination.
How do I get more information?
The Department of Planning and Community Developement also provide information for people thinking of participating as a candidate (new window) which is useful to refer to.
Check out our case study on Vanessa Musolino, 22, who shares her experiences on what it was like to run as a candidate in the 2007 Federal election.