26 September 2023

AEC votes against election misinformation

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is combatting misinformation about people ‘wasting’ their vote and preferential voting in the upcoming federal election with a series of videos to help voters fill out their ballot papers correctly.

Highlighting the videos, the Commission said preferential voting was a system that required voters to indicate their order of preference for candidates or parties on each of their ballot papers.

“In simple terms – voters can ask themselves who they most and least want in Parliament representing them,” the AEC said.

“Votes are transferred, if needed, according to the preferences marked on the ballot paper,” it said.

“The count always follows the numbers and the power is always with the voter.”

The AEC said that for the House of Representatives, when votes were transferred it was at their full value – “this means you cannot ‘waste your vote’.”

“If a voter’s first preference doesn’t get enough votes to be one of the top two candidates their vote transfers at full value until it is counted towards that final decision,” the Commission said.

“For the Senate, there are no ‘preference tickets’,” it said.

“Voters and voters alone control where their preferences go.”

The AEC said five short videos had been released, including one each on preferential voting in the House of Representatives, and the Senate; how people couldn’t waste their vote; preferential voting; and how Government was formed.

The Commission’s video You can’t waste your vote can be accessed on YouTube at this PS News link, its Preferential voting – House of Representatives at this link, Preferential voting – The Senate at this link, Your preferences, your choice at this link, and Forming Government at this link.

Information on how to complete a ballot paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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