2018 House of Assembly Election

Standing as a Candidate

Information for Candidates

This information booklet is designed to assist intending candidates for Tasmanian House of Assembly elections.

A recent breach of section 196 of the Electoral Act 2004

At the 2020 Legislative Council elections, a possible breach of section 196 of the Act in a single Facebook post (where a candidate was mentioned without their consent) was brought to the attention of the Electoral Commissioner. After investigating the matter and referring it to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director advised there was no reasonable prospect of conviction and that he would not prosecute the matter.

In light of the process arising from this complaint and the advice received on this matter, the Electoral Commissioner noted the following:

  • This offence is largely a continuation/carry over of a very similar section in the preceding electoral act — section 243(4), Electoral Act 1985. The Act became law before the development of social media and the use of social media for electoral and election discourse.
  • While the definition of “publish” in the Act includes by publication on the internet, section 196(1) was written to primarily refer to physical actions (print, publish and distribute) with physical items (advertisement, “how to vote” card, handbill pamphlet, poster or notice).
  • The Act does not establish any similar restrictions on the use of a candidate’s name in a political speech, personal conversation or on talk back radio. The relatively recent rise of social media appears to fall between the historical discourse of delivered material and verbal social/personal communication.
  • It may be arguable the Facebook post is political discourse that could be considered closer to a radio interview or public debate than a handbill, “how to vote” card or notice.
  • A breach of section 196 is a criminal offence which has severe consequences: that is a “fine not exceeding 300 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.”
  • A wide interpretation of the term notice to include such comments could be seen as seriously infringing freedom of speech and political communications.

 Electoral Commissioner's statement

The Electoral Commissioner has an important role to encourage and enforce compliance with all electoral laws and to review and respond to possible breaches. Therefore, while I will continue to ask individuals to refrain from actions that may breach section 196 of the Act, I am currently of the view that some publications on social media, including those in the nature of the Facebook post in question, are not likely to present a sufficiently compelling case to seek the commencement of criminal prosecution. However, I will continue to consider each case on its merits.

How to lodge your nomination

Nominations have closed

Nominations may be lodged after the Issue of the Writ, and before the close of nominations. For the 2018 elections, nomination forms can be lodged from 9am Tuesday 6 February.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that the nomination form and the $400 deposit are received by the returning officer (also the Commissioner for party nominations) before the close of nominations 12 noon Tuesday 13 February 2018.

For the 2018 House of Assembly elections, your nomination form and deposit can be lodged with the Returning Officer at the following locations:

Bass and Lyons
9 Killafaddy Road
St Leonards
3 Evans Street
Denison and Franklin
5-15 Pearl Street
Derwent Park

For the 2018 House of Assembly elections, the Returning Officers are:

Jenny van den Bosch
Rod Viney
Justin Meeker
Graeme Ingram
Ann La Sala

Candidates can be nominated in 3 ways:

Nominated by a party

The party nomination form enables a registered party to nominate its candidates for a division. The party nomination form includes two parts, which must be completed and lodged:

Nominated by a group

The group nomination form enables candidate(s) who wish to appear as a group on a House of Assembly ballot paper, to be nominated. The group nomination form includes three parts, which must be completed and lodged:

Individual nominations

The Individual Nomination form enables you to be nominated as an ungrouped candidate for election to the House of Assembly. The individual nomination form includes two parts, which must be completed and lodged:

Campaigning and advertising

For Tasmanian Parliamentary elections, campaign material must be authorised between the issue of the writ and the close of poll. Campaign material must not contain an image or name of another candidate without their consent. See the Candidate's Handbook for more details about these and other conditions that apply.

Electoral Commissioner's policy on electoral matter on the internet

How to access the Electoral Act 2004 and other legislation

The Electoral Act 2004 and other up-to-date Tasmanian Acts and Regulations can be accessed on-line at Tasmania's legislation online.

Authorisation of election matter on the internet

Under section 191(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 2004, all electoral matter published on the internet between the issue of the writ for an election and the close of poll at that election must contain the name and address of the responsible person at the end.

Address means a street address (not a post office box or an electronic address) at which the responsible person resides or can be readily contacted.

Responsible person means the person taking responsibility for causing electoral matter to be published.

Electoral matter means matter which is intended or likely to affect voting in an election.

The Electoral Commissioner recommends that candidates and other persons with websites (including ‘Facebook’ pages) containing electoral matter should ensure that the name and address of the responsible person appears on each page.

For example, an appropriate place to include authorisation on a website would be on a footer, or on ‘Facebook’ at the end of a post that contains electoral matter.

Related information


Progressive results...

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Your Candidates

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Polling Places

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Important Dates

The election calendar - enrolment close, nomination period, polling period...

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Profiles of the five divisions.

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Check your enrolment, update your details, or enrol to vote...
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What Happens at Election?

The elections begin with the enrolment period and the issue of the ...

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Previous Elections

Results of previous elections.
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