26 September 2023

Electoral voters cleared for GVT system

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Ahead of tomorrow’s election, voters are being reminded that they can control their own preferences when voting for their Upper House if they vote below the line in this State election (26 November).

Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately acknowledged there was concern in the community following recent extensive media coverage regarding preference deals.

Mr Gately said negotiating preferences using the group voting ticket (GVT) system was not prohibited under electoral laws.

“However, the ticket only applies if a voter votes above the line on their Upper House ballot paper by numbering a ‘1’ next to their most preferred group,” Mr Gately said.

“You can control where your preferences flow, if you vote below the line instead of above the line,” he said.

“To do this, you must number at least 1 to 5 below the line and can continue numbering if you wish.”

Mr Gately said that following similar community concerns in 2018, a review of the Upper House voting system had been scheduled for consideration by Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee (EMC) prior to the 2022 State election, but noted that this had been deferred.

He said the design of the Upper House voting system was a matter for Parliament rather than the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

“We welcome the opportunity to provide our feedback and recommendations on the Upper House voting system, and are ready to make a submission should a reforming EMC schedule an inquiry following this election,” the Commissioner said.

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