The exact date of the election is not known until the Prime Minister announces it, but there are a few clues we can use to determine the possible time-frame. Firstly, it must be on a Saturday, to ensure most people can participate in voting on election day. Secondly, according to rules in the constitution and electoral act, it must occur before May 21, 2022. This leaves just less than two months until we head to the ballot box. The Prime Minister must give at least 33 days notice before the election date. Australia is one of the few countries in the world which has compulsory voting. Failing to vote will result in a fine. Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924 to improve the low rates of voter turnout - which have never fallen below 90 per cent since. All Australian citizens over the age of 18, by law, must enrol and vote in federal elections, by-elections and referendums. Enrolling to vote can be done on the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website or at an AEC office. Those who are 16 and 17 years old can enrol, and be ready to vote come their 18th. To enrol for the first time, you need to provide evidence of identity in the form of an Australian Drivers Licence, Australian Passport or a person already on the electoral roll can confirm your identity. If you're already enrolled and need to update your details on the electoral roll because you've moved house, or changed your name, you can also do so on the AEC website by clicking 'update my details online.' This can also be done at an AEC office. If you've lived at a new address for over a month, you're eligible to enrol at your new address. To be eligible to vote from overseas, you must be intending to return to Australia within six years, and must enrol in the electoral division you were enrolled in before leaving Australia. Click 'vote from overseas' on the AEC website. The AEC enforces an enrolment deadline occurring about a week after an election is announced, so don't leave it too late to enrol. When you arrive to vote, you will be given two papers - a small House of Representatives ballot and a bigger Senate ballot. The House of Representatives ballots vary between electorates and will include a list of the candidates' names and boxes beside them. To vote, you will need to number every box from one to eight in the order of your choice. There may also be the logo for the party the candidate is running for next to their name. Senate ballots vary between states and territories and can be filled out in one of two ways - above and below the line. Voting above the line means voting by party. You have to number at least six boxes from one to six in order of your preference. Voting below the line means voting by individual candidates and you have to number at least 12 boxes from one to 12 in order of your preference, which can be across different parties. You are only allowed to vote either below or above the line. Do not do both. You can practice voting at https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/practice/ Preferential voting refers to the ranking system. The House of Representatives ballots are counted multiple times to ensure the winner has an absolute majority of total votes and votes are transferred between candidates according to their preferences. In the Senate, candidates need to reach a quota of total votes which also requires ballots to be counted multiple times, and for votes to be transferred between candidates according to preferences. There are a number of reasons why you could be eligible to vote before election day. Typically, Australians vote at a polling place - local schools, churches, halls and community buildings. If, on election day, you will be outside of your electorate, more than 8km from a polling place or travelling, you could be eligible for early voting. To allow this the AEC sets up early voting centres, as well as overseas voting centres. Ballot papers can also be sent in the mail to allow an early vote by post. Apply for postal voting on the AEC website or at an AEC office. Patients in hospital, prisoners serving less than three years or people in remote parts of Australia are able to vote by AEC mobile polling, which is carried out around Australia during the election period. For the first time, the AEC is allowing phone voting for people who can not make it to the ballot box. If you have COVID-19 or are required to quarantine, you will be eligible to vote over the phone. A full list of early voting eligibility criteria and ways to vote if you can't make it to the polls on election day can be found here: https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/ways_to_vote/ Australia has a Westminster system like the UK meaning we technically do not vote for our Prime Minister directly. Instead we vote for our own electorates' party candidates in the House of Representatives and then whichever party holds the majority of seats forms the government. The House of Representatives has 151 seats, 76 are currently held by the Coalition Government of the Liberals and the Nationals, 68 held by the Labor opposition and seven held by independents and other smaller parties referred to as the crossbench. The Senate has 76 seats, 12 for each state and two for the two territories. However, not every senator is up for re-election, as one senate term is six years. The government does not need to have a majority in the senate, and often doesn't, but it does make it harder to pass bills.