26 September 2023

ECQ reminds voters to tick every box

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Queensland voters have been reminded that the State has a full preferential voting system, meaning every box on the ballot paper in the forthcoming election must be numbered in order of preference starting with one.

Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), Pat Vidgen said planning the way electors would have their say at this poll included ensuring their ballot paper was filled out correctly and could be included in the count.

“Every vote is important, and we want every elector to have their say,” Mr Vidgen said.

“There are an unprecedented 597 candidates at this election with some electorates, such as Mudgeeraba and Mermaid Beach, with 10 names on their ballot paper, as well as Townsville and McConnel with nine; this can seem daunting when deciding who gets your vote.”

He said for people needing help with their vote — “for example, if English is not your first language” — there were resources on the ECQ’s website and polling officials who could help at the booth.

Mr Vidgen said some political parties had chosen not to show the other party names on their how-to-vote cards, so electors should be clear about how they would allocate their preferences.

“Political campaigns can also bring into the public domain statements that are unproven or considered misleading. The ECQ urges voters to stop and consider the information they receive during the election campaign,” he said.

“The ECQ is responsible for checking authorisation of election material but does not have a role in regulating the content of political advertising, other than statements about the process of voting or false statements about a person’s character or conduct.”

He said that now more than ever and in the face of an avalanche of political information, electors had to carefully consider the way they would have their say.

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