One of the great things about voting is being able to make your own choice about which party you want to lead, but also which minor parties you’d like to see in the senate.
But that won’t be as easy as it used to be now that the Australian Electoral Commission have revealed the changes to Senate form voting.
The ABC reports that rather than placing a “1” above the line on Senate ballot papers or numbering every box below the line, voters now need to number 1 to 6 above the line in order of their preferences.
Additionally, minor parties will no longer be able to swap preferences in order to secure Senate seats.
AEC spokesman Phil Diak said the national campaign would feature a 30-second television commercial, as well as advertising across radio, print media and online.
There’s currently a High Court case against the charges, initiated by senator Family First senator Bob Day. He said the reforms to senate voting could mean voters would become disenfranchised by the system.
The new AEC ad is as follows:
“DID YOU KNOW VOTING RULES HAVE CHANGED?
Make your vote count this federal election.
At this year’s federal election, the way you vote for the Senate has changed and it’s important that you understand how to vote correctly.
On the large white Senate ballot paper, you can choose to vote either above or below the line.
If you choose to vote above the line, you now need to number at least 6 boxes. Put the number ‘1’ in the box for the party or group that is your first choice, a ‘2’ for your second choice and so on until you’ve numbered at least 6 boxes.
If you choose to vote below the line, you must number at least 12 boxes, from 1 to 12, for individual candidates in the order of your choice. Voting for the House of Representatives has not changed.
On the green ballot paper, you must number every box, starting with the number ‘1’ for your first choice, ‘2’ for your second choice and so on until you have numbered every box.
‘How to vote’ instructions will be clearly displayed on your ballot paper. Don’t worry if you make a mistake — just ask for another ballot paper.
This federal election your vote will help shape Australia”
Tell us, does this change affect you? Did you prefer it the old way or are you not bothered?