Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra’s Leading
Relationship Lawyers

One number still valid on Senate ballot paper

By ScottyW - 20 June 2016 57

Senate ballot paper sample

Given the advertising starting this weekend on the new rules for voting for the Senate, the Australian Electoral Commission is keeping very quiet on the fact you can still just number one box above the line and your vote is still valid and will get counted.  It’s called the Savings Provision and in a nutshell “Under one of these provisions, voters can put just one number in a box above the line and their vote would still be considered formal.”

I am not remotely interested in politics, and there is simply no way I could make an informed ranked vote for six parties.  On election day I will be signifying my clear intent by numbering one number above the line for the Senate.  I encourage anyone who is in the same boat as me to do the same – it might make the AEC reconsider the changes for the next election.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
57 Responses to
One number still valid on Senate ballot paper
HenryBG 1:22 pm 22 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Wildturkeycanoe’s problem of understanding is best illustrated if I list a few of the Senate 1st-preference results from the last election:

Michaelia Cash (Lib) – 349
Nick Xenophon – 24,362
Zed Seselja (Lib) – 5,759
Janet Rice (Greens) – 31,311
Corey Bernardi (Lib) – 5,554
Arthur Sinodinos (Lib) – 1,488

Nobody won outright on 1st Preferences or anything after, we just got stuck with a party that most of Australia did not want which is exactly what I was saying all along.

I just think your point is very well illustrated in WA by Michaela Cash having only received 349 1st preference votes (out of 1.3million votes cast), and not only scoring a senate seat but an assistant Ministership to boot, whereas David Mrrpanda received 4,280 1st-preference votes and got nothing.

Forget leadership for the moment, what we need is an end to political parties and a consensus government by high-quality independent candidates.

Just look at the rubbish that gets put into office simply because they’ve brown-nosed their way into the good books of a political party.
The House of Reps seats of Indi and Warringah spring to mind as well.

JC 1:14 pm 22 Jun 16

Masquara said :

I would suggest to everybody to be on the safe side and number at least six squares as the Electoral Commission is advising in their advertising.

Ray Hadley on 2GB/2CC has been telling everybody to only put a 1 in one square but listeners are phoning and sending emails to him saying that EC staff at polling booths are telling voters to number at least six squares. So it is clear that on polling day when the votes are being counted, Electoral Commission staff will be disregarding any ballot papers with fewer than six squares numbered and counting them as informal.

I also note a small ad in today’s Daily Telegraph from the Katter Australia Party telling everybody to number every square and put The Greens last. So even the people and parties who would be most likely to follow Ray Hadley’s advice are ignoring him, eager to make sure their supporters don’t invalidate their vote.

Hadley isn’t dumb. No doubt he is telling people that becuse less valid votes overall means more valid votes to the majors. The Libs don’t want any minor parties to be in control of the Senate.

wildturkeycanoe 12:20 pm 22 Jun 16

JC said :

I have already voted as I will be travelling. As per usual I voted below the line, as I don’t like others choosing my preferences or me. It’s very easy and quick to vote below the line with twelve numbers. Yes, there were not twelve candidates that I wanted to vote for, but I doubt my vote will flow as far as number 11 and 12. There were only a couple I really wanted to vote for (none of the major parties) and I put them first. After that I voted in order of least disliked. I really can’t understand why someone would find it onerous, at least in the ACT, to vote below the line.

It is disappointing that you have to give a preference vote to someone you don’t want to vote for. If for example,my favorite party has only 3 candidates, why am I giving any vote, be it my 4th preference or not, to a person I do not want to vote for? If they are asking for 6 numbers, there is obviously an expectation that they cannot get a result from the first 5 preferences. If it is that hard to find a winner and we resort to accepting the country’s sixth favourite candidate, it isn’t much of a win for anyone.

Mysteryman 11:59 am 22 Jun 16

“…and there is simply no way I could make an informed ranked vote for six parties.”

Yes, there is. It’s called research. And you’d only need to do a very small amount. So do it.

Maya123 10:08 am 22 Jun 16

I have already voted as I will be travelling. As per usual I voted below the line, as I don’t like others choosing my preferences or me. It’s very easy and quick to vote below the line with twelve numbers. Yes, there were not twelve candidates that I wanted to vote for, but I doubt my vote will flow as far as number 11 and 12. There were only a couple I really wanted to vote for (none of the major parties) and I put them first. After that I voted in order of least disliked. I really can’t understand why someone would find it onerous, at least in the ACT, to vote below the line.

John Moulis 9:51 am 22 Jun 16

I would suggest to everybody to be on the safe side and number at least six squares as the Electoral Commission is advising in their advertising.

Ray Hadley on 2GB/2CC has been telling everybody to only put a 1 in one square but listeners are phoning and sending emails to him saying that EC staff at polling booths are telling voters to number at least six squares. So it is clear that on polling day when the votes are being counted, Electoral Commission staff will be disregarding any ballot papers with fewer than six squares numbered and counting them as informal.

I also note a small ad in today’s Daily Telegraph from the Katter Australia Party telling everybody to number every square and put The Greens last. So even the people and parties who would be most likely to follow Ray Hadley’s advice are ignoring him, eager to make sure their supporters don’t invalidate their vote.

wildturkeycanoe 6:44 am 22 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Wildturkeycanoe’s problem of understanding is best illustrated if I list a few of the Senate 1st-preference results from the last election:

Michaelia Cash (Lib) – 349
Nick Xenophon – 24,362
Zed Seselja (Lib) – 5,759
Janet Rice (Greens) – 31,311
Corey Bernardi (Lib) – 5,554
Arthur Sinodinos (Lib) – 1,488

That is one seat, but what about the final result.
Labor 25 seats
Liberal 23 + LNP 5
National 3 + LNP 1
Greens 10
Democrats 1
CLP 1
Independent 1
Other 6
Total 76

So Labor got 32% of seats, Liberal/National coalition got 42%. Nobody won outright on 1st Preferences or anything after, we just got stuck with a party that most of Australia did not want which is exactly what I was saying all along.
Even in the House of Reps Labor only got 33% and Liberal/National coalition 45.6% of the primary vote, so 54.4% of the nation did not get who they voted for. The only time Australia had a clear winner was in 1975 with Liberals taking 53.1% of the primary vote and even then they only just scraped in.
Some years the party with the most of the primary vote lost on preferences even, what kind of crazy British system is this, where your 3rd, 4th or 5th choice ends up winning and still most of the country did not want them in power?

HenryBG 4:00 pm 21 Jun 16

Wildturkeycanoe’s problem of understanding is best illustrated if I list a few of the Senate 1st-preference results from the last election:

Michaelia Cash (Lib) – 349
Nick Xenophon – 24,362
Zed Seselja (Lib) – 5,759
Janet Rice (Greens) – 31,311
Corey Bernardi (Lib) – 5,554
Arthur Sinodinos (Lib) – 1,488

wildturkeycanoe 6:49 am 21 Jun 16

Just like the other comments so far, all this numbering 1 to 6 stuff is simply ridiculous.
If they think that having preferences is good, look at it this way. If one candidate cannot win outright on 1st vote, then 2nd preferences get counted, then 3rd and 4th etc., the guy or girl who ends up winning doesn’t have a majority of people wanting them to lead and most people get the person who was their 3rd, 4th, 5th or even 6th choice for the job.
If preferences are supposed to bring an outcome to the election that gives clear leadership to one party over another so they can perform official duties, why have so many of the recent elections had independents at the helm with the two major parties unable to form a majority government? Basically we’ve ended up with a person who got less than a tenth of the country’s vote calling the shots! That is absurd and even worse than having two opposing sides sitting in government unable to make any decisions at all.

The root of the problem isn’t so much that the system doesn’t work, but the fact that the people are so evenly divided between the two major parties that we will never form a government that has more than 50% of the nation backing it. There is no voting system that will determine a winner when the numbers are stacked like this. The only way for things to change is for the people to be swayed in one direction or another, so that a majority of them decide they like one candidate much more than the other. A lack of political gusto on the part of our “leaders” has made the country indifferent to their policies, which are so alike it is impossible to tell who is conservative and who is more liberal. If only someone went out on a limb, took a chance with the country and their own political future instead of being so safe and mundane, we might see some great changes to our country.
Unfortunately the only exciting thing about this year’s elections is the numbering system, which is only going to make the outcome even more difficult to calculate. If only something or someone would bring some life, some fresh air into the government of this nation. With the tied hands of our current system, the stagnant policies, the constant bickering and name calling in the houses of parliament, we will slip away from the first world status fought for by our forebears. Another term of these gutless puppets and we will see the country ruined, destitute, full of promise but nobody willing to make something of it. Whilst the nation flips a coin to determine the winner, the value of that coin drops as quickly as it falls to the ground.

dungfungus 11:12 pm 20 Jun 16

What a lot of nonsense just to elect 2 people.

gazket 10:07 pm 20 Jun 16

if you 1,2,3, above the line your vote extinguish at the last selection.
If you think preferential voting stinks like I do This is exactly what you do.

I’m not leaving my vote for a candidate to decide who nose they will wipe with it. If my guy can’t win on his own well too bad too sad. Put in a better effort.

JC 9:22 pm 20 Jun 16

Will preferences flow according to the ticket preferences or will your vote extinguish if the vote has to be redistributed?

I know this is a moot point if the vote is for a major political party because the vote won’t be redistributed. I think whoever forms government is going to regret the senate reforms because I think we will end up with more cross benchers in the senate.

Yeah but the likes of the greens, Xenophon and even palmed United. Not too many minor parties or true independents.

Lurker2913 5:35 pm 20 Jun 16

Also it isn’t the AEC that made the change. The parliament made the changes and the AEC are just following the new legislation.

Lurker2913 5:34 pm 20 Jun 16

Will preferences flow according to the ticket preferences or will your vote extinguish if the vote has to be redistributed?

I know this is a moot point if the vote is for a major political party because the vote won’t be redistributed. I think whoever forms government is going to regret the senate reforms because I think we will end up with more cross benchers in the senate.

switch 5:27 pm 20 Jun 16

Still don’t have a “None of the above” option.

Btw, for those who still vote below the line, you may find https://www.clueyvoter.com/ useful.

1 2 3 4

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site