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Organisation : Australian Electoral Commission (
Facility : Practise Voting
Country : Australia

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Practise Voting :
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Practise Voting :
** These practise voting tools have been developed to explain the easiest way to make sure your vote will count in federal election events.

Related / Similar Service : AEC Check Enrolment

** They are interactive with easy to follow instructions on how to complete your ballot papers correctly.

Practise voting – House of Representatives :

Practise voting – House of Representatives :
** On the green ballot paper, you need to put a ‘1’ in the box beside the candidate who is your first choice, ‘2’ in the box beside your second choice and so on, until you have numbered every box.
** You must number every box for your vote to count.

Practise voting – Senate :

Practise voting – Senate :
On the white ballot paper you have a choice of two ways to vote:
Either above the line

Put a ‘1’ in the box above the line for the party or group of your choice.

By doing this, you are using the numbering that group has made below the line on its group voting ticket.
Or below the line

Number every box in the order of your choice below the line.

If you choose to vote below the line you need to number every box in the order of your choice.

Practise voting – Referendum :

Practise voting – Referendum :
At a referendum, you will receive a ballot paper with the proposed alteration to the Constitution on it, followed by a question asking if you approve the proposed alteration. On the referendum ballot paper you need to indicate your vote by clearly writing:
** ‘YES’ in the box if you approve the proposed alteration, OR
** ‘NO’ in the box if you do not approve the proposed alteration.

Ballot papers :
Why do they supply pencils in polling booths and not pens? Doesn’t using pencils allow votes to be tampered with?
The provision of pencils in polling booths is a requirement of section 206 of the Electoral Act. There is, however nothing to prevent an elector from marking his or her ballot paper with a pen if they so wish. The AEC has found from experience that pencils are the most reliable implements for marking ballot papers. Pencils are practical because they don’t run out and the polling staff check and sharpen pencils as necessary throughout election day. Pencils can be stored between elections and they work better in tropical areas. The security of your vote is guaranteed as the storage and counting of ballots is tightly scrutinised.

How is the order of the candidates determined on the ballot paper?
For the House of Representatives ballot paper, please see Draw for positions on the House of Representatives ballot paper. For the Senate ballot paper, please see Draw for positions on the Senate ballot paper.

What is a Senate Group Voting Ticket?
Within 24 hours after the declaration of nominations for the Senate, parties or groups may lodge a Group Voting Ticket (GVT) which shows the order in which they want their preferences distributed. If you choose to put the number ‘1’ in one of the boxes above the line on the Senate ballot paper, all the preferences will be distributed according to that group’s GVT. You may choose to vote below the line according to your own preference.

How secure are the ballot boxes/papers?
Prior to the ballot box being used, the empty box is shown to any Scrutineers and other people present before it is closed and sealed. Numbered security seals are used to secure the ballot boxes. The seal number will be recorded by the polling official in charge and will be witnessed. The ballot boxes in use are visible at all times during the poll and are guarded by a polling official. Ballot boxes which are full remain sealed and are stored in a secure place. Polling officials take every precaution with ballot papers in their care. Ballot papers are kept secure at all times and are never left unattended.

How is a declaration vote secret when my details are on the envelope?
Your name and other details are required on the envelope so that your entitlement to vote can be confirmed and your name can be marked off the electoral roll as having voted. The AEC maintains strict procedures in handling Declaration Votes to first check that you are entitled to vote, and secondly to ensure that there is no way your vote can be identified. Envelopes are kept face down when ballot papers are removed so that no one can see your name or details. The ballot papers are kept folded and are placed in a ballot box. Once the batch of envelopes has been processed, the envelopes are put away, the ballot box is opened and the ballot papers are sorted and counted. This process stops any ballot paper from being matched to the information on the envelope and ensures an elector’s vote remains secret.

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