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The Daily Aus

How to vote in a federal election

Voting can be complicated. So relax, we\’ve got this. Billi is going to take you through exactly how to fill out your voting ballots, meet her in tree pose.

Transcript —

Preferential voting rules. We see what\’s going on. It\’s a lot to take in. I mean, we are just days away from the 2022 federal election and we\’ve had loads of you come to us scratching your head over how to actually vote. So let us try and explain it in the most calming environment we can find. Let\’s figure it out together.

In Australia, we use what\’s called a preferential voting system, which essentially means you\’re not voting for just one party, but several. In order of you guessed it, preferential voting is done on a ballot, which is these guys right here and you\’ll be given two of them when you arrive at the polling place for the House of Reps.

This little green slip has a randomly ordered list of people you can vote for. Within these boxes, you write a number that corresponds to which candidate you like the most, one being your first preference and the highest number being your least favorite candidate. You\’ve also got a vote in the Senate. This ballot is absolutely enormous, but for good reason, as there are two different ways you can fill this out.

You may have heard the phrase is above the line and below the line. These are different styles of voting in the Senate. Now the boxes on the Senate ballot do the same thing as the House of Reps ballot. But instead of representing people, they represent parties. You\’ve got to fill at least six of these. For it to be a valid far above the line is a good way to vote.

If you don\’t have an opinion on the parties, individual candidates say I want to vote for the Tea Party, but I have a preference for a particular candidate. Then I\’d vote below the line. This would allow me to order the candidate as I wish. Ooh. Or long. Whichever way you decide to vote. Make sure your vote is valid and that you\’re really considered your preferences as this can make or break an election result.

Oh, I feel better now. Thank you.

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