Australian voters must fill in their ballot papers correctly to ensure their vote counts in Saturday’s federal election, the Australian Electoral Commission said today.
“Your vote is important, so please be careful when filling in your House of Representatives and Senate ballot papers,” the Electoral Commissioner, Mr Tom Rogers, said.
“Instructions are provided on the top of each ballot paper, and you should read them carefully. If you make a mistake, ask a polling official for a replacement ballot paper and start again.”
Mr Rogers said people would need to complete two ballot papers, for voting in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
On the green House of Representatives ballot paper, voters must number every box in their order of preference, starting at “1”, with “2” as their next preference, and continuing until they have consecutively numbered all the boxes.
On the large white Senate ballot paper, voters can either:
The term “at least” means that voters may choose to continue numbering as many more boxes as they like using consecutive numbers, when voting either above the line or below the line on their white Senate ballot paper.
“While candidate representatives outside polling places may offer you ‘how-to-vote’ cards, the final decision rests with you. It is a secret ballot, which means no one will know how you have voted. Polling places open at 8am on Saturday and voting will continue through to 6pm sharp,” Mr Rogers said.
“If you can’t make it to a polling place on Saturday, early voting is still available today, until 6pm, at early-voting locations across Australia.”