Update (20th June): Ray Hadley has received clarification from the Electoral Commissioner who has stated that a '1' vote only above the line in the Senate will be counted as a formal vote. However, this information has not been passed onto AEC staffers who are telling voters at prepoll that they MUST vote 1-6 above the line. Due to staff not being trained adequately in the new legislation, One Nation is now requesting that people vote 1-6 above the line so that their vote can be counted. We believe that the major parties have instructed the AEC to tell people vote 1-6 as a way of bringing the 'preferences' back to them, rather than the vote 'exhausting'. We request that you leave the major parties out of your votes in the Senate. Please download your 'How To Vote' guide and take it to the polling booth with you.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson believes hundreds of thousands of Australian votes could go to waste in the upcoming federal election, because the Australian Electoral Commission doesn’t understand the Senate voting reforms.
A factsheet published by the Australian Electoral Commission says if you vote above the line, you “must’ number at least six boxes from 1 to 6. This is not in accordance with the legislation passed on 18th March 2016 in the Senate.
The new legislation allows voters to place a 1 above the line, or sequentially number up to 6 candidates of their choice, restoring democracy to the voter instead of secret party preference deals.
One Nation has been attempting to seek clarification from the AEC for more than a week if both options are valid - in writing, by telephone and in-person, but is yet to get a response.
"The AEC's latest advertising campaign on how to vote in the Senate is misleading, confusing and it will cause a lot of informal votes," Ms Hanson said. "Scrutineers and AEC staff will be following instructions on the ballot paper which is not compliant with the legislation and therefore will be discarding formal votes if they do not realise that a 1 above the line, is classed as a vote. Clarification is needed."
"I am calling on Mathias Cormann, the Minister for Finance, to get this matter sorted urgently with the AEC so that they can stop wasting taxpayers' dollars on false and misleading advertising, and correct their campaign."
Ms Hanson is urging the AEC to pull their Factsheet and advertising campaign from circulation until clarification is provided.
Senate - Voting Legislation: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, Section 239
Senate - Valid Vote Legislation: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, Section 269 (see 1b)
ABOVE THE LINE VOTING - SENATE
If you vote above the line, you can number up to six boxes from 1 to 6. Or, you can place a '1' in the box of the party you would like to vote for. If your party is not elected, your vote will be 'exhausted' and not be passed onto any other political party.
VALID - ABOVE THE LINE
ALSO VALID - ABOVE THE LINE
BELOW THE LINE VOTING - SENATE
If you vote below the line, you must number at least 12 boxes from 1 to 12.
Place a 1 in the box beside the candidate that is your first choice, and the numbers 2, 3, 4 and so on to at least the number 12. You can continue to place numbers in the order of your choice in as many boxes below the line as you like.
VALID - BELOW THE LINE VOTING
VALID - BELOW THE LINE VOTING
INVALID - BELOW THE LINE VOTING
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTING
On election day you will receive a green ballot paper for the House of Representatives.
Don't worry if you make a mistake. You can ask for another ballot paper and start again.
Number every box on your green ballot paper.
On the green ballot paper, you need to put a '1' in the box beside the candidate who is your first choice, '2' in the box beside your second choice and so on, until you have numbered every box.
You must number every box for your vote to count.