Ignore How To Vote Cards: Use Brain & Website Instead


Always vote below the line. pic by ed’n’eddie

The fuss about grubby preference deals in which progressive and conservative parties alike have ended up sending votes to ultra-nationalist parties like Rise Up Australia, or religious extremists like Australian Christians or Family First, today ensnared pro-marriage-equality Liberal Kevin Ekendahl.



You don’t have to follow the card – although most voters do. And remember – a vote for a minor party is NOT a wasted vote, as the following cartoon explains.

(After the toon, how to simplify your Senate voting. NEVER vote above the line: that’s like handing your vote to someone else to do as they please with it.)


OK, that the House of Reps dealt with. What about the Senate, with it’s metre long ballot papers and dozens of boxes to tick? Easy.

You already know which parties you like and which you don’t. Just go to this website.

Use the search function to find your electorate.

At the top right you’ll find buttons to view the preference deals that have already been done. They might surprise you, but if you’re happy with where your chosen number one party is sending your vote, then you can vote above the line.

If, like me, you don’t care for the deals that have been done, you can create your own preferences. Click on the Ballot Editor button, and then drag and drop the parties into the order that suits you best.

Once you’re done, download and print out the PRF file: it will show you exactly how to number each box to get the outcome you want.

Just take this along to the polling booth and copy the numbers across.

Making voting Below The Line simple.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)