Become a State election candidate

Who can be a candidate

You can nominate as a State election candidate if you are enrolled to vote in Victoria.

You cannot nominate if you:

  • are not enrolled
  • are a judge of a court of Victoria
  • have been convicted or found guilty of an offence with a prison term of 5 years or more, in a Victorian or federal court
  • are an undischarged bankrupt
  • are a member of either House of the Commonwealth Parliament.

You can stand for election, but can't take office without resigning first if you are:

  • a local government councillor
  • a Victorian Public Service employee
  • an Australian Public Service employee.

If you have dual citizenship, you are eligible to nominate.

If you're not sure if you're eligible to nominate, seek independent legal advice.

For detailed information about the nomination process, refer to the candidate handbook.

Getting support for your nomination

If you are a Registered Political Party candidate, your nomination will be lodged by the registered officer of the party.

If you are an independent candidate, you need to get support for your nomination by:

  • 6 people if you are standing for the Lower House (district)
  • 50 people if you are standing for the Upper House (region).

The people who support your nomination must be correctly enrolled at an address within that district or region.

Cost of nominating

Your nomination must be accompanied by a deposit of $350.

Your deposit must be either cash or bank cheque made payable to ‘Victorian Electoral Commission’.

We cannot accept personal cheques, credit card payments or money orders.

Your deposit will be refunded if you:

  • are elected
  • receive at least 4% of first preference votes
  • retire before the close of nominations.

The Electoral Act 2002 also describes other reasons why we must provide a refund.

Political donation laws

As soon as you publicly state your intention to stand as a candidate, political donations rules apply to you (even if you don't end up nominating).

A public statement can include but is not limited to:

  • posting on social media
  • advertising in a newspaper
  • distributing flyers
  • announcing it in a townhall or public space.

Learn more about political donation laws.

Campaigning rules

There are several rules about campaigning. These include rules about authorising electoral campaign material, how-to-vote cards and signage limits

Learn more about campaigning.

Ballot paper order

The position of each candidate on the ballot paper is determined by a computerised random draw after nominations close for an election.

The computerised draw software has been independently audited and certified. It includes a Random Number Generator (RNG), which uses a cryptographically secure algorithm. The RNG produces a sequence of random numbers that cannot be predicted and have passed several statistical tests including Empirical tests, Diehard tests and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tests.

View the software component that generates the random order for the ballot.

Download the audit report for the ballot draw software.

How-to-vote cards

A how-to-vote card shows how a candidate or group wants voters to fill out their ballot paper.

How-to-vote cards handed out within 400 metres of a voting centre on election day must be registered with us. This also applies to how-to-vote cards distributed by our mobile voting teams.

How-to-vote cards distributed during the early voting period to not need to be registered. However, all how-to-vote cards must be properly authorised.

Learn more about how-to-vote card registration.

Getting a copy of the roll

Candidates can access a free electronic copy of the electoral roll. Electoral roll data may only be used for purposes connected to your election campaign and monitoring the accuracy of information on the roll. Some of the permitted uses are:

  • to send electoral campaign material
  • for door-knocking campaigns
  • mail-merging letters.

We do not give out:

  • email addresses
  • phone numbers
  • details of silent electors.

Misuse of roll data is a serious offence. Strict penalties apply if you misuse the roll.

Funding opportunities

Registered political parties, independent candidates, and independent elected members may be eligible to receive funding. Learn more about:

The administration of public funding is regulated under the Electoral Act 2002.

Annual returns

Registered political parties, independent candidates, and independent elected members are required to submit an annual return to report on political expenditure. Annual returns are due each year on 20 October.

Learn more about annual returns.