Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Voting tools for parents... and other time poor electors

Australia operates a preferential voting system to elect 6 senators per state at each election. Voters have the option of voting "above the line" where you chose which party's (or independent's) preference ticket your vote will follow. But we also have the option to vote "below the line" (BTL) meaning we chose our preferences, by numbering candidates 1,2,3..... In Victoria this election I will be numbering each box from 1- 60. It's no wonder that the proportion of voters voting BTL is (roughly) inversely correlated to the number of candidates standing for senate election. And apart from some minor exceptions, if there is an error in your numbering of preferences then your vote will be declared invalid.

I always vote BTL out of principle- I worry that one day some bright spark might try to eliminate it, if noone uses it! However, the prospect of wrangling the two boys (in partnership with B, to be fair) concerned me that my BTL vote could be invalid if I am distracted by the boys somewhere between preference 52 and 58. Antony Green's blog (now in the side bar, until the election) referred me to two tools- and that allow me to use a drop-and-drag list of candidates online to prepare my BTL vote before the day, at my leisure. This generates a mockup of my ballot which I can print, so in the booth all I need to do is transcribe the numbers onto the official ballot.

Big thumbs up for this from me!!

1 comment:

Maxabella said...

In the past I haven't voted BTL, but I feel strongly that I need to get my arse into gear and start doing it. Your post has made it possible for me to get it done. Thank you!

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