Five things to remember when you vote

Vote Australia today launched a video campaign through social media reminding Australian voters to remember five things when they go to vote during the 2019 federal election.

Responding to public and media discussion about voter apathy and disengagement, the campaign aims to help voters be more aware and engaged when they attend a polling place.

A video titled 'Five things to remember when you vote' gives voters simple tips for a better polling place experience. They are: 

  1. Check that 'How-to-vote' cards are authentic and are not fakes.  Fake how-to-vote cards can deceive a voter into numbering a ballot paper in a way they didn't intend which could favour another candidate.
  2. Voters will be asked for their full name, address and if they have voted before in the election, as required by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
  3. Check that ballot papers are properly initialled by an authorised election official.
  4. Double-check that ballot papers are completed properly.
  5. Be courteous toward hardworking election officials.

The reminder campaign will run up to 6.00 PM on Saturday 18 May 2019.

Vote Australia is an incorporated not-for-profit public-interest entity registered in New South Wales. Vote Australia is not affiliated with any political party or organisation and receives no funding from government or from any other organisation. It is funded entirely by public donation and staffed by volunteers whose focus is helping voters navigate Australian democracy.


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Add your name and let’s keep Australian elections free and fair.

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2022-05-16 16:33:18 +1000
    My thing is that voting is not actually compulsory in federal elections. No one at the polls actually tracks what you do with the ballots once they’re handed to you. The only thing they track is whether or not you showed up to verify your voter registration details. If you don’t show up you get fined. I’m a huge advocate for voting, I just think the word compulsory is misleading and makes some of the Against arguments irrelevant.

  • signed up on Subscribe 2022-05-10 10:44:11 +1000

  • commented on A fair voting system 2022-04-18 18:47:12 +1000
    Thanks John. I beg to differ with your claim that “Population density is not an issue.” Vast, VAST, areas of Australia have population densities below 0.1/sqkm where mobile phone and internet access is simply not available to most people. In contrast only about 20% of The Netherlands has a population density below 200/sqkm. That’s over 1,000 times lower density in the vast majority of Australia’s land area.

    So whatever the theoretical merits of large proportional representation electorates, I think you are tilting at (Dutch) windmills expecting to get a majority of States to agree to a change in the constitution to suit.

    If you are really serious about that then the best way forward, in my opinion, is to clean up the current Coalition/Labor/Greens stranglehold on government. How? There’s lots happening where the basic idea is to encourage all smaller parties to recommend preferencing each other so that the strongest gets elected. This could stop the Greens turning the Coalition & Labor into Tweedledum & Tweedledee who try to do do whatever the Greens dictate to stay in power. E.g. see

    In essence what they are all trying to do is to get past the electoral system which is strongly biased towards a 2-party-preferred system via atrocities like the Vote-1-to-6 Above-The-Line rules which almost guarantees that small new parties have no hope and so their voters’ votes are likely to either end up with a major party or be totally useless. But if all the small parties encourage their voters to number every square and put the majors and worse parties last then the strongest of the new small parties could gain control of the senate and force reforms.

    That would then allow a campaign to reform the voting system. And that’s where my DCAP vote counting system would open the door for easier entry of smaller parties under the proportional represenatation system. OK too few representatives per electorate for your liking but at least it’s start. Then if we embark on multiple major Snowy-River type schemes to divert the humus volumes of water that flow to waste around Australia and divert them inland to replenish the Great Artesian basin and even make Lake Eye a permanent inland sea that would green Australia and greatly improve population density as well as greatly protect our sovereignty. Interestingly we can literally print money to do this because it actually creates common-wealth but putting the nation to work productively. So give it 100 years and we may well have enough population to have your preferred one electorate. But I doubt its necessity.

  • commented on Identifying voters 2022-04-18 17:35:36 +1000
    Thanks John, you may be able to convince me that a single electorate is good for Australia, but I’d say you have zero hope of changing the constitution to that extent. And despite what you say, the population density differences are so extreme in Australia, and so different from Holland/The Netherlands that I can’t see the population of the low density States or electorates agreeing to change to what they fear will make them even more isolated.

    But without proportional representation, the system can still be improved by at least making vote-counting fair. You lament that:

    “if someone gets more that 50% of the votes in my ‘geographic seat’ – my vote is discarded if my first preference vote is not for the party that wins. I wasted my time voting. And to add insult to injury – voting is compulsory "

    and that is a problem because someone can get 51% of 1st preferences and claim an “absolute majority” which may be a complete farce because it is possible, due to ‘counting’ votes the wrong way, that the ‘winner’ is hated by 49% of the voters while the system rejected a candidate who was 1st or 2nd preference to 100% of voters and hence hated by no one. So the ‘system’ rejects the clearly-best candidate and elects a usurper. We can fix that by fair counting of preference votes, using either the The Borda count or my DCAP vote-counting system.

    So I agree that it is an insult to sometimes ignore second preferences and to ALWAYS ignore last preferences. But if you refuse to vote, how do we tell the difference between you being content ‘the system’ and being upset with it?