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Writs Returned And The 2016 Federal Election Is Officially Over

Last updated on January 25, 2024

With its announcement that all the election writs have been returned, the Australian Electoral Commission officially brought the 2016 Federal Election to an end today.

The AEC has returned the writs for all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and for Senate elections in the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Normally, the writs would be returned to the Governor-General, but Sir Peter Cosgrove is attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, so the writs have gone to the Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, in his capacity as Administrator to the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Writs for the Senate elections in the six states have been returned to the State Governors.

The election writ is a legal document issued by the Governor-General. It commands the AEC to conduct the election. It sets out the various dates that apply during the election, such as the close of enrolments, nominations, polling day, and the return of the writ.

The process leading to the election began on May 8 when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advised the Governor-General to dissolve the parliament in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution. The dissolution documents are available here.

On May 9, the Governor-General’s proclamation dissolving the parliament was issued. The election writ was issued on May 16. It specified that the writ should be returned on or before August 8.

Under Section 5 of the Constitution, the Parliament must meet not more than 30 days after the date specified for the return of the writ. This provision will be satisfied when the Parliament convenes on August 30.

This picture was posted on Twitter, on August 5, by the Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau. It shows her accepting the return of the writ for the Victorian Senate election.


Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

AEC returns writs for the 2016 federal election

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced today that it had returned the writs for the 2016 House of Representatives and Senate elections.

Writs for all 150 House of Representatives elections and for the Senate elections in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory were returned to the Administrator of the Commonwealth.

Writs for Senate elections in all states have been returned to the State Governors.

All 2016 federal election results are available in the AEC’s tally room at

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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