The strangest things Australians did to their ballot papers on election day

If you didn’t vote and are found guilty in court, you may be fined up to $180 plus court costs
Photo: YouTube.

If you didn’t vote and are found guilty in court, you may be fined up to $180 plus court costs and a criminal conviction may be recorded against you.

But what if you make a joke out of voting?

While most of the voters in Saturday’s federal election numbered their Senate and House of Representatives ballot papers correctly, others just couldn’t help themselves but to “express” their opinions.

Complain about the ballot paper size, how they didn’t fit into the voting booths, while others made fun of candidates names and drew pictures on the ballot papers.

However the most popular trend was creating their own candidates in the election. Harambe, the Cincinnatti zoo gorilla who was shot dead in May when a toddler fell into his enclosure was a popular option, reports Daily Mail.

One Twitter user referencing the slogan “Jobs, growth and justice for Harambe (the gorilla who died)”.
While some included a list of kebab ingredients and selected their preferred options (beef, chicken, the lot, BBQ and chilli sauce) while another created a new box to select for popular Game of Thrones character John Snow.

This voter wants Lee Lin Chin to be the PM…

And this gentleman turned up to the polling booth in his…

How does this make you feel?

  1. Ray Thompson  

    In my opinion if you were prepared to deface the ballot paper you should be fined for vandalism. People are prepared to complain about our government and then vandalise the ballot paper, just showing their low intelligence of the voting process and who they prefer as prime minister.

    • Jude Power  

      How do you suggest these horrible criminals could be identified, given we have a secret ballot? Settle down, surely in a democracy people are entitled to express themselves on the ballot paper, no matter how stupidly they do so? I don”t see how any inferences can be drawn about which prime minister such people prefer and anyway this is Australia, no the USA, and we’re voting for candidates or parties, not the prime minister.

      Just a comment for those who don’t realise it: compulsory voting is a misnomer because we can’t be compelled to actually vote, only to attend a polling booth, have our name crossed off and be presented with ballot papers: after that it’s up to us what we do with the papers. We can just leave them blank and put them in the box if we want to.

    • Lyn Dyke  

      It certainly sounds silly, doesn’t it? if people want to write something silly on their papers, it is certainly a waste of a vote.
      But the weird thing is that voters are only required to turn up and register a vote by marking both of the papers provided.Just what they write on the papers is up to them, it seems to be taking an expression of dissatisfaction with the candidates to an extreme. I checked out the local figures on voting here in WA, the rate of invalid votes seemed to be surprisingly constant., at about 2100-3000 votes per 100,000 votes.Some of these were probably genuine mistakes, and some were the deliberate expression of rude disaffection with the voting process.I am more concerned about the reputed 840,000 people who were eligible to vote , but didn’t. I don’t know how valid this claim is, it was made by Steve Price on the Project.
      If it is true, that is close to a whole electorate’s voters who didn’t express their preferences. Could their votes change
      the make-up of the Parliament y representation?

  2. Joan  

    I know one voter did not want to put her HoR ballot paper in the box because it was labeled ‘Green’. I don’t want to vote for the Greens she explained.

  3. Sheila  

    Just dont understand why you go to line up and queue for 45 minutes and not make your vote count. Irresponsible I feel. Anyone in this country can run for Government, make your actions speak

  4. rikda  

    I guess it’s a matter of people supporting compulsory voting in the hope that at some point one of the candidates is related to a patriot with a controlled ego that can think without an army of academics advising them, & some of that might rub off.

  5. Jennifer  

    Being made to participate in the choice of who will run your country … what a hardship. The very same people will also complain about the outcome of the vote! Although, I’m sure that a lot of the informal votes might be to do with how complicated the stupid forms are.

    • Gail Reilly  

      I’m with you Jennifer. Some countries still exist where people get no say in who leads them. People in countries like ours need to appreciate that voting is a privilege, and not one to be taken lightly. Just look at what happened in Britain recently when so many young people didn’t bother turning up at all to vote. As for the forms we had to fill in last Saturday, I doubt that everyone realised that each party demonstrated on the ‘how to’ forms the order in which they’d have preferred their voters to number the boxes. How many drongos would’ve put ‘1’ for the party they wanted to lead us, then any old numbers besides? It worries me greatly that a lot of people would’ve done that just to get it over with quicker

  6. Nerida  

    To add to that what most people don’t realise is that the people working at the election have to account for every single piece of paper, so if you throw your forms in the bin it means the tally is out at the end of the day — which means everyone has to stay and re-count … and re-count. So even an informal vote is better than binning it.

  7. H tyler  

    Everyone has the right to do what they like with their vote. There is nothing to say you have to fill out the forms correctly. So long as you get your name crossed off you can do what you like. Personally I like to make my vote count

  8. Stan Corbett  

    So far informal votes in both reps and senate are exceeding 5 percent. Perhaps we should offer an option to informal voters to be struck off the voting role. Obviously these non voters would lose the right to complain about the government through their lack of interest!

  9. compulsory voting want work when you do nothing but lie and confuse ppl ,and both parties admit to lies from time to time

  10. Victoria  

    An ancient Greek once said ‘The people get the government that they deserve’…if you don’t exercise your right don’t complain about who you get!!!

  11. Patricia  

    a waste of a vote…………one you should be privileged to have,……….,,,and no doubt they won’t be happy with the election results and continue to whinge about it….sheer stupidity

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