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

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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 www.aec.gov.au

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

Happy voting!

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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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66 Comments

Total Comments: 66
  1. 0
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    I do NOT vote, no Christian should

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      If you want to keep your Christianity you SHOULD vote, or your arse may be pointing skyward in the future.

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      A bit crude Fast Eddie but, I fear it could be true; kneeling on a prayer mat with head on the ground.

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      Exactly.

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      Voting is a privilege which many citizens of the world do not enjoy. Many people have died around the world over the centuries to ensure that we have that privilege. How exactly do you think society would function if no-one voted? Surely the Christian religion teaches social responsibility? If you don’t like the people standing for election do something about changing that instead of not taking your obligations seriously and then, I am sure, complaining about the outcome.

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      Might be an idea to remove this, as I believe it is a crime to incite persons not to vote.

      Not that I care, Anyone who does not vote is not really making a sensible decision. Look at Brexit, 30% of young people did not vote, then realised what a mess they are now in, and are whinging. Duh!

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      I am thinking you need to vote for good rather than evil PIXAPD. Hard to work that one out between the candidates though. Most are dishonest chisellers who are being bankrolled and need to prostitute themselves if they get in.
      Several churches in my region run ‘meet the candidates’ forums and I had the misfortune of attending a few of these during the last election campaign. What horrified me was that many in the congregation were Liberal Party supporters. Whilst both sides of politics are are bad I find it difficult to come to grips with people who claim to be followers of Jesus and yet support political Parties led by blatant liars and crooks with their ties with the media and big business.
      I left church worship a number of years ago PIXAPD because I could no longer tolerate the hypocrisy. The problem extends right through the church itself. God has a tough gig these days.

    • 0
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      In countries like this, without oppression (as yet, anyway), voting is still a right or entitlement. If you don’t vote,one day voting is more likely to become a privilege or prohibited. To not vote is to be APATHETIC (and stupid) as it shows you don’t care, are lazy, and have a sheep’s mentality – and we don’t want sheep or GOAT herders running the country, now do we?

    • 0
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      A friend on mine just got back from Voting Early I asked him to grab all the pamphlets handed out so I could see where their Preferences were going !! He came home and handed Me a Liberal Party Pamphlet and said that’s all that was there ??? 🙁 🙁 Maybe they Jailed all the others for handing out Controversial Material ! 🙁

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      You comment parti has a reality which we may yet come to see. The ABC today and free speech in the streets tomorrow.

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      Keeping Christianity has nothing to do with voting or any Govt, or anything else..but the Lord who builds HIS congregation.

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      I haven’t voted for over 35 years and always give a ‘reasonable’ excuse for failing to vote, and never been fined.

      I might add that even though they say that voting is compulsory, in reality it is NOT, for no one can force you to vote. What is compulsory is that you get your name marked off the roll, which may as well be a sausage roll for all it’s good; inasmuch you could screw the ballot paper up, write anything on it etc etc. Thus having your named crossed off a roll is NO proof you voted at all

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      What do you think about bringing in a big black marking pen and writing on the ballot: I do not vote for corrupt governments? It would be an eye raiser and a media hit if a few thousand people did it.

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      I believe it’s perfectly reasonable that you don’t vote, it should only be compulsory for those of sound mind.

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      Retired Knowall, what a choice comment. Well done.

  2. 0
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    And I’ve SURRENDERED Its HOPELESS !! 🙁 🙁 🙁

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      Its hard work Parti I think there will be a lot of invalid votes especially amongst the Labor voters who are mostly ethnics and the lets say not so intelligent amongst us .

    • 0
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      I await Micks reply

    • 0
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      That sort of comment does not warrant a decent response. I might add your man Malcolm has wooed the Islamic vote this election. Any comment on that?

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      Yes of course Mick we know Rudd and Gillard pirated out over 50 thousand Muslims knowing full well they be made lets say pseudo Australians and allowed to vote of course for Labor, but now perhaps some of them have become somewhat disillusioned with labor and have perhaps seen the other side.

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      That’s a bit unfair robbo and hardly true. Muslims would support their own and both sides of politics are milking that one.
      Good you did not mention halls and batts but I guess we have to leave something for poor old Frank and his avatars to bring up.

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      Just Voted and it was like Designing a New Table Cloth !! 🙂

  3. 0
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    Religion supports nobody. It has to be supported. It produces no wheat, no corn; it ploughs no land; it fells no forests. It is a perpetual mendicant. It lives on the labors of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver.

  4. 0
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    Funnee, Fast Eddie, must admit, but many a true word is spoken in jest.
    #1 for the Senate ….. Animal Justice Party.

  5. 0
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    I have a number of contacts with older citizens both personally and professionally and am concerned that some older voters are not only confused with the system of voting, but also the underlying understanding of the social and political positions of various candidates. Si in their confusion they will vote according to their historical perspective rather than an objective one. This means that politicians of major parties can rely on the vote of older people who are simply unable to change their voting patterns.

    Undoubtable the politically correct brigade will lampoon my view, but here it goes. In my view, citizens over the age of 75 or whatever is deemed appropriate, should be given a non compulsory voting right. This would be entirely at their own volition, but it would remove the rusted on voting patterns prevalent in older generations.

    So go for it, but before you heap abuse on me, just think about it.

    • 0
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      You miss the fact that both sides of politics go to nursing homes and help older Australians to vote. I am not at all sure if that means they complete the ballot paper for them.
      In regard to your post I would be more thinking that people who are judged ‘incapable’ should not be permitted to vote, for the same reason children are not permitted to vote. Now that opens up a barrel of worms.

    • 0
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      Good thinking perhaps we could reduce that age to lees than 75 as well , my opinion is if you don”t want to vote you shouldn”t have too.

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      We have to be careful not to end up like America where there is normally a poor turnout. Just like the trolls on this website have scared off some people so it would be for voters. Better to leave the current one in place with minor tinkering around the edges.

  6. 0
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    It is irresponsible not to vote and let the crooked politicians of the major parties win again. While they stuffed everyone else on possible part-pensions with the revised Assets Test for Age Pensions from Jan 2017 they will collect their “entitlements”.
    Just to remind yourself of what the major parties leaders collect, see this April 2015 article:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/politicans-enjoying-generous-lifetime-pensions-agree-other-australians-should-have-their-superannuation-taxed-more/news-story/a9c450847248281f5211deed6a0cdde7

  7. 0
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    The time is running out, invoking fear, fear causes a contraction in ones cognitive processes, distance from one’s fellows, uncertainty in any decision making.
    This is probably one of the worst elections to allow onself to be overcome by Fear from TV ads, I can only suggest you look at the future of your Grand Children, and calmly evaluate the world they might live in, a collapsing environment, and do you want that for them?
    I don’t want that for my 3 Grand Children, so I struggle to see where my vote can best serve to ensure my Grand Children have one, – less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere seems to be the bet way to go.
    Which way will fear lead you? and which party or program pushes you that way?
    Cheers,
    Geoff.

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      Intelligent thought processes, analysis of the lies they tell us, seeing bad policies and budgets for what they are and NOT being conned by TV advertising.
      Do the above and you have a hope. Be conned by slogans and policies which are contrived for election campaigns, complete with posters, and you are a lemming being led to the slaughter.
      The fact that the Liberal Party is even close to 50/50 tells me that many Australians are not capable of the above. Welcome to the working class. Forever to be raped by the big end of town because of their failure to think for themselves.
      Make your vote count Lookfar!

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      Just one volcano erupting will spew more carbon into the atmosphere than humans do for years. So even if we do all go green and stop omitting carbon it is useless while ever volcanos erupt.

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      Liberal Party meeting over today eh? MIA all day like all of the other stooges. Now back to spew.

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      Pinatubo put more Garbage into the Atmosphere than Man has ever Made !! 🙁

    • 0
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      Yes party over with the medical people.

  8. 0
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    Pixapd ”render unto Caesar all that belongs to Caesar” compulsory voting is law

  9. 0
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    Nothing is more stupid than compulsory voting. It must be causing all sorts of fear and anxiety in some folk. Why ask those to vote who have no interest in what they are voting for or have not idea who is even in government?

  10. 0
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    I only vote because I feel sorry for our poor Politicians, does any of you know that their salary and conditions stop when they die?

    Mine stopped when I stopped work.

    • 0
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      Too bad being “brain dead” doesn’t do the same thing, the country would save MILLIONS!

    • 0
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      Fast Eddie, after 8 weeks of all the useless rubbish we have had to endure, I think they are Brain Dead, Brain Vacant and ready for the crematorium .
      No, that would be a waste of good gas.

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