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  1. #1
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    Default *spin off* Do you know how to vote at the Federal Election?

    The thread about the leadership dramas yesterday has highlighted that a lot of people don't really understand how to vote and ensure their vote is counted.

    When you are voting for your local Federal Member (the green ballot paper) you MUST number every box. Don't use ticks or crosses and make sure you number them clearly.

    If you know who you want mark as number 1 on the ballot paper but are a little unsure about how to number your preferences (where your vote will go if the candidate you marked as number 1 does not receive enough votes) you can ask the people outside the polling booth representing that candidate for a 'how to vote' card. That will show you the way the candidate would like you to vote. You DO NOT have to follow this.

    When you are voting for the Senate you can choose to vote either 'above the line' or 'below the line'.

    If you vote above the line you just pick which party you would like to vote for and number the box 1. That means that your vote is directed towards their Senate candidates in the order in which that party determines.

    If you vote below the line you have to number every box. This option allows you to direct your vote in the order in which you choose. It can be onerous if there are a lot of candidates.

    Here's a handy guide from the Electoral Commission:



    House of Representatives


    On election day, you will receive two ballot papers: a green one for the House of Representatives and a white one for the Senate.
    Green ballot paper

    On the green ballot paper, you need to put a '1' in the box beside the candidate who is your first choice, '2' in the box beside your second choice and so on, until you have numbered every box.
    You must number every box for your vote to count.
    Don't worry if you make a mistake. You can ask for another ballot paper and start again.
    Senate

    White ballot paper

    On the white ballot paper you have a choice of two ways to vote:
    Either
    Above the line

    You can just put a '1' in the box above the line for the party or group of your choice. By doing this, you're allowing the order of your preference to be determined by the party or group you're voting for.
    Or
    Below the line

    You can choose to fill in every box below the line in order of your preference. You must put a '1' in the box beside the candidate who is your first choice, '2' in the box beside your second choice and so on, until you have numbered every box.
    You must number every box for your vote to count.
    Don't worry if you make a mistake. You can ask for another ballot paper and start again.

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    If anyone wants to read more on how the preferences work when votes are being counted, this is quite a useful guide: http://www.eca.gov.au/systems/single...eferential.htm


    Parties will have done what is called 'preference deals' before the election and agreed to 'direct' preferences in a particular way. At the ballot box though, this doesn't automatically happen - voters have absolute control over where their preferences go. For example, just because I vote for the Greens doesn't mean my preferences will go to Labor. They will only go to Labor if I choose to direct them that way.


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    lambjam is offline Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
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    I cannot thank you enough

    I hope this helps to dispel the misconception that votes for a smaller party or independent automatically "go to" one of the larger ones. Voters can decide their own preferences.

    ETA Snap Nancy!

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    Good idea for a thread. I really think this will help so many people, and hopefully stop some votes from being wasted.

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    Great thread Nancy

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    Can I just add a confusing little tidbit - you don't need to number every box. You can choose to leave one box unnumbered on a House of Reps ballot if it is the last in a sequential series.

    Example: if there are 5 candidates you can number 1-4 and leave the 5th box blank.

    For the Senate if you choose to vote below the line you need only fill 90% of the boxes in a sequential order starting with 1 for your vote to be formal (or valid).

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    Do I know how to vote?

    YEp! ...not for Tony Abbott

    :P



    But yes - it really surprises me how many people don't 'get' how voting works [this lead to a bit of a family *ahem* 'drama' a few years ago - with my BIL telling me if you 'donkey voted' or scribbled a 'f*** you' on the ballot paper - either way ..your vote would go to the person already in leadership at that time.
    ...W...T...F!!? I don't understand how an almost 40 year old man could think that is what would happen!]

    Also 'donkey voting' is numbering your ballot paper from 1,2,3,4 etc down the page - and these votes actually get counted - an 'informal vote' is a blank piece of paper,, smiley face or a 'F** you' depending on your personality
    these do not count as a vote for anyone.

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    Oh YES! A lot of people don't realise a Donkey vote is just sequential numbering down the paper. It's still a formal vote - albeit (usually) an ill-considered one.

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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveInTheBed View Post
    Do I know how to vote?

    YEp! ...not for Tony Abbott

    :P



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    Of course! Surely if people have made it to 18 years of age they should be able capable of reading the instructions on the ballot paper?

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