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News Article

Help for voters struggling below the line
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

“My phone has been running hot with people wanting to know where their Senate vote is likely to end up if they write “1” in a party box above the line,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today. 

“I’ve told them they can check the preference flows of each party by looking up the Australian Electoral Commission website – but there are so many different parties, from Coke in the Bubblers to Wikileaks, that trying to follow them all is a nightmare.

“Sadly, some preference deals made between the minor parties means that people who vote ‘1’ in a box above the line may end up helping to elect someone they wouldn’t support in a blue fit,” Ros Phillips said.  “I’ve told callers the only way they can be absolutely sure their vote ends up with a party that shares some of their values is to number every square below the line.

“This means numbering:

“It’s a huge challenge, but we are encouraging people to check our election survey results for Senate candidates and print out the pages – which list all parties and candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper, along with their score in our survey – and work out their own preferences before Saturday.  They can take the sheets into the polling booth to help insert their numbers onto the white “tablecloth” Senate ballot paper,” Ros Phillips said.

Election expert Antony Green has pointed out that according to law, voters are allowed to miss out ten percent of the boxes below the line, and mess up the numbering three times, yet still have their vote accepted as formal.  This is good news for the preference plodders,” Ros Phillips said.

“Remember, the tortoise may be slow, but he wins in the end!” 


  • Government and society

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