New Senate voting rules: how to make sure your vote counts

Australians will head to the polls tomorrow for Election 2016 – at last! We’ve all voted many times before but, as many of you may be aware, Senate voting rules have changed, so here’s how to make your vote count.

When you arrive at the polling station you will be handed a large white Senate ballot paper and a small green paper for the House of Representatives.

On your white paper you’ll need to:

  • Number at least six boxes above the line for the parties or groups of your choice. For example, you need to place a ‘1’ in the box that is your first choice, ‘2’ for your second choice, and so on. You can also continue to place as many numbers above the line as you like.
  • If you plan to vote below the line, you need to number a minimum of 12 boxes, in order of preference, for each individual candidate of your choosing.

There have been no changes to voting for the House of Representatives so, to make sure your vote counts, you’ll have to number all the boxes on the green paper in your order of preference.

Here’s a short video on how to make your vote count.

For more information about how to vote, head to

If you’d like to see how your views align with those of the candidates, head to Vote Compass.

Happy voting!

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?


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