Voting Above the Line
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Monday, 18 July 2016 3:35 PM
RE: Voting Above the Line
For the Senate, the legislation requires voters to either number :
. at least 6 boxes above the line for the parties or groups of their choice, or
. at least 12 boxes below the line for individual candidates of their choice.
The AEC's role is to instruct people to vote according to the legislation.
Voters are encouraged to follow the instructions on the ballot paper, or there is a risk their vote may be informal and won't be included in the count.
How voters mark their Senate ballot paper determines whether their vote can be counted, how their preferences will flow to the candidates they have chosen and when their vote exhausts.
The legislation also includes 'vote savings' provisions, which have been in existence for many years. These are instructions to help staff counting the votes to understand how to deal with the many ways that a ballot paper is filled out by the voter.
'Vote savings' provisions make sure a vote can still be counted where the voter has made their intention clear, despite not precisely following the instructions on the ballot paper.
The provisions provide that those ballot papers marked above the line with a 1 only (or a sequence of numbers less than six) and having no other mistakes or issues will be included in the count.
Public Enquiries Team
2016 Federal Election Contact Centre
Australian Electoral Commission
T 02 6218 4362 I E: wizard @aec.gov.au