ON Sunday, Scott Morrison called the federal election.
The prime minister visited governor-general David Hurley at Government House in Yarralumla to ask him to dissolve Parliament and set the election date as May 21.
So began the six-week long election campaign.
Electoral roll closes
On Monday April 18, the electoral roll will close and voters will no longer be able to register to vote.
In Australia, all citizens over the age of 18 are legally required to vote.
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Currently, the national enrolment rate sits at 96.3 per cent, meaning 657,839 eligible voters are not registered.
For young people aged 18-24, the enrolment rate sits at 84.4 per cent.
To enrol to vote or change a home address, head to aec.gov.au/enrol.
Ballot paper draw
After electoral nominations close on April 21, the ballot draw will take place.
The draw determines the order in which candidates will be placed on ballot papers on election day.
The order is picked at random by a blindfolded divisional returning officer (DRO), the House of Representatives ballot goes first, and then the Senate.
After each draw, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) moves immediately to begin the printing of ballot papers.
Once the ballot papers are printed, voters who will be away on election day are able to begin voting in the election by casting an early vote.
Postal voting opens
Post voting will then open.
Voters can apply via the AEC website to have their ballot papers mailed to them.
These must be completed by the end of election day and returned to the AEC.
The AEC allows 13 days after the election for the votes to arrive.
Pre-poll voting opens
If voters can't make it on May 21, they can vote in advance at a pre-polling station.
Pre-poll voting starts 12 days before voting day, on May 9.
A list of pre-polling stations will be published on the AEC website.
There are often also mobile polling booths in nursing homes, hospitals and remote areas.
On May 21, millions of Australians will finally go to the polls.
Multiple polling booths will be set up across cities and towns, filled with party volunteers (and sometimes candidates themselves) attempting to sway voters up until they enter the booths.
In this election, the nation will elect all House of Representatives members, and half of the Senate.
There are 151 seats in the lower house to win this election.
Parties need 76 to form government.
In the upper house, there are 40 seats to win.
Who are our candidates?
In Bendigo, federal Labor party member Lisa Chesters has held the seat since 2013, winning again in both the 2016 and 2019 elections.
Ms Chesters' main rival will be newly minted Liberal candidate for Bendigo Darin Schade.
However, The Greens, the United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson's One Nation have also fielded candidates for the seat.
This year, the results may take some time to be confirmed, particularly as postal vote numbers are expected to be higher due to the pandemic
If the election is tight and marginal seats such as Bass in Tasmania or Macquarie in Western Sydney are too close to call, Australians could be waiting up to a week for the results.
Perhaps it's worth trying to grab two democracy sausages at the booths this year - it could be a long wait...
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