Here's What Every Party in the Federal Election Has to Say About Queer Rights

THE GREENS

In the lower house, the Greens are running in the electorates of: Aston, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bruce, Calwell, Casey, Chisholm, Cooper, Corangamite, Corio, Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders, Fraser, Gellibrand, Gippsland, Goldstein, Gorton, Higgins, Holt, Hotham, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, Kooyong, La Trobe, Lalor, Macnamara, Mallee, Maribyrnong, McEwan, Melbourne, Menzies, Monash, Nicholls, Scullin, Wannon, and Wills. The Greens are also running 6 candidates for the upper house.

COMMUNITY

LIFE/LAW

In terms of childcare and education, the Greens have committed to:

In terms of the workplace:

For competitive sport, the Greens have committed to:

In terms of daily life (excluding healthcare, which has its own section), the Greens have also committed to:

HEALTHCARE

The Greens have committed to the creation of a “national LGBTIQ+ health strategy”, which includes:

CONSULTATION

ADDITIONAL

SOURCES - all PDF documents are searchable.


AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY


In the lower house, the Australian Labour Party is running in the electorates of: Aston, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bruce, Calwell, Casey, Chisholm, Cooper, Corangamite, Corio, Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders, Fraser, Gellibrand, Gippsland, Goldstein, Gorton, Higgins, Holt, Hotham, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, Kooyong, La Trobe, Lalor, Macnamara, Mallee, Maribyrnong, McEwan, Melbourne*, Menzies, Monash, Nicholls, Scullin, Wannon, and Wills. The ALP is also running 6 candidates for the upper house.


*The Labour candidate for Melbourne, Luke Creasey, has been disendorsed by Labor and has resigned for saying some really gross stuff in 2012, including making rape jokes and queerphobic comments about lesbians. He will still appear on the ballot and will still be able to be elected as an independent.

It should also be noted that one of the senate candidates in the Northern Territory has resigned over really gross antisemitic comments.


COMMUNITY

  • Specifically regarding queer refugees, the ALP has stated that “any assessment of the asylum seeker’s identity and fear should take account of the very different manifestations of [LGBTIQ] identity that other cultures, especially ones profoundly hostile to [LGBTIQ] people, necessarily engender” and that they will “ensure asylum seekers who self-identify as [LGBTIQ] will be assessed by officers who have expertise and empathy with antidiscrimination principles and human rights law. Officers, translators and interpreters at all levels of the assessment process will have specific [LGBTIQ] cultural awareness training to ensure the discrimination asylum seekers face in their country of origin or transit are not replicated.”


LIFE/LAW


HEALTHCARE


FUNDING

  • The ALP commit to funding $310,000 to Switchboard Victoria for their Out and About program, a peer support service for elderly queer people living in government funded aged care or on/waiting to receive a home care package*; $600,000 to JOY 94.9 FM, for it’s ongoing operations; and $3 million in grants of up to $300,000 each over three years to “LGBTIQ organisations”  for “capacity building, community cohesion and/or advocacy”.


CONSULTATION


ADDITIONAL



SOURCES - all PDF documents are searchable.


THE COALITION (LIBERAL PARTY & NATIONAL PARTY)

This is the Coalition that currently forms the government. It is made up of the Liberal Party and the Nationals, and is generally referred to as the LNP.


In the lower house, the Liberals are running in the electorates of: Aston, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bruce, Calwell, Casey, Chisholm, Cooper, Corangamite, Corio, Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders, Fraser, Gellibrand, Goldstein, Gorton, Higgins, Holt, Hotham, Indi, Isaacs*, Jagajaga, Kooyong, La Trobe, Lalor, Macnamara, Mallee, Maribyrnong, McEwan, Melbourne, Menzies, Monash, Scullin, Wannon, and Wills*. In the upper house, there are 5 Liberal candidates on the Coalition ticket (of 6).


In the lower house, the Nationals are running in the electorates of: Gippsland, Indi, Mallee, and Nicholls. In the upper house, there is 1 Nationals candidate on the Coalition ticket (of 6).


*The Liberal candidate for Isaacs, Jeremy Hearn, has been disendorsed by the party for Islamophobic statements. The Liberal candidate for Wills, Peter Killin, has resigned after the revelation that he was encouraging people to join the party with the specific intention of preventing queer people from being elected to office and/or to influential party positions. He also made some very homophobic statements.


Content warning for: CSA


The Liberal candidate for Scullin, Gurpal Singh, has also made statements linking same-sex marriage and paedophilia, but is not being disendorsed by the Liberals.


It should also be noted that one of the lower house candidates in the Tasmania, Jessica Whelan, has resigned over really gross racist, anti-immigration, and Islamophobic comments.


Scott Morrison has also made negative comments regarding queer people, including that a queer-inclusive school program made his “skin curl”.


QUEER SECTION

LIFE/LAW


HEALTHCARE


FUNDING


CONSULTATION


ADDITIONAL


KEY TAKEAWAY

The Coalition policies regarding queer people are deeply lacking. They hide behind statements of what they have done (which is not a lot) to avoid committing to anything, continue to endorse blatantly queerphobic candidates (including the current prime minister), and currently enact a lot of policies that actively harm every part of our community.


SOURCES

http://nationals.org.au/policies/2019-election-policies/ (Nationals election policy list, accessed 12 May 2019)


UNITED AUSTRALIA PARTY


In the lower house, the United Australia Party is running in the electorates of: Aston, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bruce, Calwell, Casey, Chisholm, Cooper, Corangamite, Corio, Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders, Fraser, Gellibrand, Gippsland, Goldstein, Gorton, Higgins, Holt, Hotham, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, Kooyong, La Trobe, Lalor, Macnamara, Mallee, Maribyrnong, McEwan, Melbourne*, Menzies, Monash, Nicholls, Scullin, Wannon, and Wills. The UAP is also running 3 candidates for the upper house.


The United Australia Party is the party run and financed by super rich guy Clive Palmer. It rebranded this year from the Palmer United Party to the United Australia Party. It should also be noted following the revelation that Tony Hanley, candidate for the electorate of Bean in Canberra, had made some gross racist, queerphobic, and misogynistic statements on social media (invoking, it should be added, incel rhetoric, transphobia, and slurs for POC and queer women), Palmer said that his comments were “not acceptable to to [Palmer]” and he’d “take it up with him”, but Hanley has not been disendorsed and has not resigned.


The most recent policy document that the UAP has is from June 2015. They also have a page of ads for the party from 2019. None of them mention queer people. The one that opened and autoplayed when I pulled up the website began with “Men and women of Australia…”, so it could be assumed that they do not know or care about non-binary people.


SOURCES


ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY
In the lower house, the Animal Justice Party is running in the electorates of: Ballarat, Casey, Chisholm, Cooper, Corangamite, Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders, Higgins, Isaacs, Kooyong, Macnamara, McEwen, Melbourne, Scullin, and Wills. The Animal Justice Party is also running two candidates for the upper house.


All of their policies are from 2017.


They have no policies on queer people, and a single position statement on marriage equality, published 26 September 2017 (less than two months before the return of the postal vote results) stating that “AJP supports equal marriage for all. This flows easily from our core value of equality.”


SOURCES - all PDF documents are searchable.




THE RISE UP AUSTRALIA PARTY


The Rise Up Australia Party is listed in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition.


In the lower house, the Rise Up Australia Party is running in the electorates of: Bendigo, Casey, Chisholm, Corangamite, Dunkley, Hotham, Isaacs, Jagajaga, La Trobe, Macnamara, and Mallee. The RUAP is also running 2 candidates for the upper house.


While the year the policies were updated is not specified, the website is copyright 2015.


QUEER SECTION


The Rise Up Australia Party “opposes same-sex marriage,” “the promotion of homosexuality as a normal practice in schools and in public life,” and “government funding of events, programs, courses, curriculum, policies or lobby groups that advance same-sex marriage”, including “education policies promoting ‘sexual diversity”. They also “believe that school curriculums, social discourse and media commentaries have been hijacked by pro-homosexual propaganda.”


For some reason they also state that, though they “resist homosexuality” that “LGBT” hate crimes “should be prosecuted under existing laws similar to any other violence perpetrated against our citizens.”


They are explicitly Islamophobic, and explicitly promote policies which endanger sex workers.


The RUAP does not support government funding for “fertility treatments for...same sex couples”, and are explicitly anti-choice, yet say that healthcare should be provided “to all human beings in need regardless of creed, race, sexuality, socio-economic status etc.


KEY TAKEAWAY


RUAP is actively queerphobic and promotes actively harmful policies designed to remove queer participation and visibility from public and private life. They are also explicitly Islamophobic, anti-choice, and explicitly promote policies which endanger sex workers.


SOURCES



DERRYN HINCH’S JUSTICE PARTY


Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party is running in the lower house in the districts of: Casey, Chisholm, Corangamite, Deakin, Dunkley, Indi, La Trobe, and McEwen. They are running 2 candidates in the upper house.


Their policies are not dated, but the website states that it and its contents were authorised in 2004.


QUEER SECTION


The only thing under their “equal rights” tab is the statement that in 2017 Derryn Hinch co-sponsored the ‘marriage equality’ amendment of the Marriage Act 1961.


Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has not made any commitments to fund queer organisations.


It should be noted that Derryn Hinch backed the repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.


I’d also like to note that DHJP is running on a platform of being 'tough on crime' and that queer people - particularly queer people of colour, First Nations queer people, and disabled queer people - already suffer very heavily under our punitive carceral system.


KEY TAKEAWAY


The party has nothing to say about queer issues, other than they supported ‘marriage equality’.


SOURCES


https://www.justiceparty.com.au/our-policies/equal-rights/ (accessed 12/05/19)

https://www.justiceparty.com.au/our-policies/voluntary-euthanasia/ (accessed 12/05/19)

https://www.justiceparty.com.au/our-policies/domestic-viloence-law-reform/ (accessed 12/05/19)


FRASER ANNING’S CONSERVATIVE NATIONAL PARTY (get!!!!! deathed!!!!!!!!)


Content warning for: antisemitism, Islamophobia, queerphobia, reference to Christchurch massacre.


Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party appears in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition.


The party is running in the lower house in: Bendigo, Bruce, Calwell, Dunkley, Gippsland, and Mallee. They are running three candidates in the upper house.



KEY TAKEAWAY


Do not fucking vote for Fraser Anning or his party, oh my god.


SOURCES



SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIA


In the lower house, Sustainable Australia are running in the electorates of: Flinders, Fraser, Gellibrand, Goldstein, Higgins, Hotham, and Macnamara. In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.



They have no policies that reference queer people.


SOURCES


LABOUR DLP - DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY


This party trades on people mixing it up with the major Labor party (the ALP) when it comes to voting, but it’s a lot more conservative, and a lot smaller. On their website it says they’re the only party “since 1950” to “stand up to the extremes of radical Socialism and rampant Capitalism”.


In the lower house, the DLP are running in the electorates of: Aston, Casey, Chisholm, Deakin, and Menzies. In the upper house, they are running 3 candidates.



KEY TAKEAWAY


This is an explicitly anti-queer party who endorse dangerous policy, make use of white supremacist rhetoric, and endorse a white supremacist party.


SOURCES


ONE NATION


In the lower house, One Nation are running in the electorates of: Bendigo, La Trobe, McEwan, Monash, and Nicholls. In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.


One Nation appears in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition.


One Nation does not have any policies that explicitly mention queer people. One Nation is a racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, and white supremacist party. Do not fucking vote for them.


SOURCES

https://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=44811 (Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.onenation.org.au/policies/ (One Nation’s policies, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.onenation.org.au/achievements/ (One Nation’s ‘achievements’, accessed 12 May 2019)



VICTORIAN SOCIALISTS


In the lower house, the Victorian Socialists are running in the electorates of: Calwell, Cooper, and Wills. They are running no senate candidates.



SOURCES

https://www.victoriansocialists.org.au/election_policies (VS election policies, accessed 12 May 2019)


CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL


In the lower house, the CEC are running in the electorates of: Calwell and Mallee.  In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.

The CEC appears in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition.



SOURCES


GREAT AUSTRALIA PARTY


In the lower house, the GAP are running in the electorates of: Casey and Fraser.  In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.



SOURCES

https://www.greataustralianparty.com.au/ (GAP website, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.greataustralianparty.com.au/immigration/ (GAP immigration policy, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.greataustralianparty.com.au/education/ (GAP education policy, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.greataustralianparty.com.au/family/ (GAP family policy, accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.greataustralianparty.com.au/htv/ (GAP how to vote cards, accessed 12 May 2019)


REASON
In the lower house, Reason is running in the electorates of: Melbourne, Cooper, and Menzies. They are not running any candidates for the upper house.


Reason lists 19 policy headings in the federal section of their website. Queer rights is not one of these. The only direct mentions of queer people in their federal policies are:

  • under their Refugees and Asylum Seeker policy where they commit to “Ensure asylum seekers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex (LGBTI) are not sent to, or held in, regions that are hostile to LGBTI people”

  • And under ‘Our Promise’ where they say “This includes freedom from discrimination and exploitation on the basis of race or nationality, disability, sexuality or gender, religion or belief;  freedom of expression and the right to decide what you do with your own body.”


SOURCE


SHOOTERS, FISHERS, & FARMERS


In the lower house, the Shooters, Fishers, & Farmers are running in the electorates of: Gippsland and Mallee.  In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.


The SFF party is into shooting, fishing, and farming. They don’t have any policies that explicitly mention queer people on their website.


SOURCES

https://www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au/issues (accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au/our_achievements (accessed 12 May 2019)

https://www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au/policies (accessed 12 May 2019)


SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY


In the lower house, the Socialist Equality Party are running in the electorate of Calwell.  In the upper house, they are running 2 candidates.


Their only statement related to queer rights reads as follows: “The SEP opposes identity politics, including the retrograde #MeToo movement, used by the upper-middle class to enhance their privileged economic and social position. Identity politics is aimed at splitting the working class and obscuring the fact that in capitalist society the fundamental divide is that of class—between the working class and its exploiters, i.e., those who own the means of production and finance. The democratic and social rights of workers, whatever their gender, sexuality, skin colour or religion can only be defended through a unified movement from below to abolish capitalism.” This is… not wonderful!


SOURCES

http://www.sep.org.au/website/about/election-2019/ (accessed 12 May 2019)


AUSTRALIA FIRST PARTY


The Australia First Party appears in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition.


In the lower house, the AFP are running in the electorate of Lalor. They are running no candidates in the upper house.


They are overt white supremacists, openly racist, Islamophobic, and antisemitic, calling for a return of the White Australia policy. The website is filled with absolutely vile rhetoric. I couldn’t find anything that explicitly mentioned queer people. Do not fucking vote for these people.


SOURCES (content warning for racism, antisemitism and antisemitic imagery, Islamophobia, ableism, and explicit white supremacist content)


AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES


The Australian Conservatives are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 3 in the upper house.


This is the party of Cory Bernardi, and a popular top five preference choice of white supremacist parties across Victoria. They are identified by myvotematters (by the Islamic Council of Victoria) as an openly Islamophobic party.



  • Yikes.


Don’t! Vote! For! Them!


SOURCES

https://www.conservatives.org.au/society_culture (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.conservatives.org.au/immigration_citizenship (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.conservatives.org.au/education (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.conservatives.org.au/our_policies (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.conservatives.org.au/our_movement (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.conservatives.org.au/our_principles (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.corybernardi.com/decency_abandoned (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.facebook.com/myvotemattersau/photos/a.457681271397902/613564235809604/?type=3&theater (accessed 13 May 2019)


THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF AUSTRALIA


The RPA are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


Their policies have not been updated since 2014, and do not mention queer people. They describe themselves as “a minor Australian political party dedicated to ending the country's links with the UK and establishing a republic.”


SOURCES

https://www.facebook.com/pg/RPofA/about/?ref=page_internal (accessed 13 May 2019)

http://therepublicans.com.au/ (accessed 13 May 2019)

http://therepublicans.com.au/category/librarycat/policies/ (accessed 13 May 2019)

http://therepublicans.com.au/2013/07/30/the-ten-point-platform-of-the-republican-party-of-australia/ (accessed 13 May 2019)


THE SMALL BUSINESS PARTY OF AUSTRALIA


The Small Business Party of Australia is are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


The SBPA do not mention queer people - they have only really developed policies related to small business, with a pretty conservative slant. They preference Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Sustainable Australia, the Australian Conservatives, the Coalition, and Labour DLP.


SOURCES

https://thesmallbusinessparty.com/federal-policies/ (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://thesmallbusinessparty.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SBP-Federal-How-to-Vote-VIC.pdf (accessed 13 May 2019)


CLIMATE ACTION! IMMIGRATION ACTION! ACCOUNTABLE POLITICIANS!


Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians! are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.



SOURCES



AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS


The Australian Democrats are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.




SOURCES



INDEPENDENTS FOR CLIMATE ACTION NOW


Independents for Climate Action Now are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.



SOURCES - pdf is searchable


LIBERAL DEMOCRATS


The Liberal Democrats are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


This is David Leyonhjelm’s party, and is often confused by old racists with the Liberal Party who currently form government.


Their policy on “lifestyle choices” are as follows:

However, in the section entitled “equality before the law”, they espouse the abolishment of:


It should also be noted that the logo of the Liberal Democrats is the southern cross on an orange background, the southern cross being a common white supremacist dogwhistle, and that they instruct voters to preference One Nation third.


KEY TAKEAWAY

They’re actually more overtly right-wing than the Big Liberals, and want to defund queer organisations.


SOURCES



SECULAR PARTY OF AUSTRALIA


The SPA are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


They have two policies that mention queer people:


SOURCES


THE PIRATE PARTY


The Pirate Party are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


The PP have relatively basic policies in regards to queer people

They commit to “improve treatment of transgender and intersex persons”, which includes:





KEY TAKEAWAY

Their queer related policies are relatively basic, and they seem to prioritise ‘free speech’ over the wellbeing of marginalised populations.


SOURCES


VOTEFLUX.ORG


Voteflux.org are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.



SOURCES


AUSTRALIAN WORKERS PARTY


The Australian Workers Party are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


The AWP has minimal mention of queer people on their website and in policy discussion, and they’re mostly limited to general statements about equality and discrimination.


SOURCES



HEALTH AUSTRALIA PARTY


The Health Australia Party are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


The HAP are ‘not anti-vaxxers’, they just “oppose No Jab No Play/Pay legislation” (the legislation which makes you vaccinate your fucking children). They’re right, this is a sensitive and important distinction.


Their website and policies contain no mention of queer people.


SOURCES - pdf is searchable


YELLOW VEST AUSTRALIA


Yellow Vest Australia are not running any candidates in the lower house, but are running 2 in the upper house.


Yellow Vest Australia is the party previously known as Australian Liberty Alliance, and appears in slackbastard’s Brief Guide to the Australian Far Right April 2019 edition. They are openly Islamophobic, antisemitic, racist, and promote white supremacist views. The website links to right-wing websites such as Breitbart.


Do not fucking vote for them.


SOURCES - pdf is searchable, automatically tries to print

https://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=44811 (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/yellow-vests-protesting-france-181206083636240.html (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au/blog/yesterday-the-australian-electoral-commission.html (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au/values-and-policies/values-and-core-policies.html (accessed 13 May 2019)

https://www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au/documents/Constitution-of-the-Party-OG14002R1.pdf (accessed 13 May 2019)



CATEGORY Z - SHARED INDEPENDENT TICKET


Two independents - Sunny Chandra and Robert Whitehill - have formed an alliance so that they will be able to be voted for both above and below the line. They are not a party, and will act as independents if elected.



Neither mention queer people.


SOURCES



KENNETH GORDON BETTS


Independent who says he’s standing for “traditional family values”. His website doesn’t mention queer people.


SOURCES



MAX DICKS


Independent. He doesn’t have a lot of policies - his top listed is that he wants all political decisions to be explained with short videos that “act like Key Performance Indicators for legislation”, and to automate the “public service sector”. His website doesn’t mention queer people.


SOURCES


MURRAY McINNIS


Independent, a barrister, has stated his “main issues of concern” in a press release as:


SOURCE


KARL F MORRIS


Independent, seems to be campaigning against the ALP, but his website says that he’ll support the legislation of any party in power with the “one exception” of “hands off our pensions and superannuation”, unless there is a change of prime minister. His how to vote cards seem to reflect the preferencing of the individual parties. His website and youtube channel do not mention queer people.


SOURCES




OTHER ISSUES

Of course queer rights aren’t the only important topic this election. Here’s a list of other election resources. Find one we haven’t included? Send us a link at [email protected]!

REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS

DISABILITY

FIRST NATIONS

ISLAMOPHOBIA

JEWISH LABOUR BUND
Refugee policy: https://www.facebook.com/JewishLabourBund/photos/a.1649199745291853/2474212029457283/
Health policy: https://www.facebook.com/JewishLabourBund/photos/a.1649199745291853/2473046779573808/

SEX WORKERS


Identifying Right Wing Parties


DIGITAL RIGHTS

CLIMATE CHANGE

How to Vote: Understanding your Ballot

There are two ballot papers for federal and state elections, one for the lower house and one for the upper house. They both work slightly differently.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES/THE LOWER HOUSE

This ballot is going to be much smaller than the other ballot you are given, and green.

(ID: Screenshot of a sample image of a lower house ballot paper. It is green, and shows 8 candidates. The header reads “House of Representatives Ballot Paper”, and has a spot for a polling official to initial. Under the header, it reads: “State”, then “Electoral Division of Division Name”. There is a heavy line, under which is the text: “Number the boxes from 1 to 8 in order of your choice”. Under this are a vertical line of 8 boxes, on the right of which are “SURNAME, Given Names” and then in smaller text “INDEPENDENT” or “PARTY”, and to the left of which are spaces for party logos. The boxes are numbered in random order, with every number from 1 through 8. There is another heavy line at the bottom of the ballot paper, under which is the text: “Remember… number every box to make your vote count”. This is partially obscured by a banner across the right corner of the paper which reads “SAMPLE”.)

When you get the ballot paper, verify that you have been given the correct ballot paper for your electorate - so make sure that it has the correct state and the correct electorate on it.

This paper is the easier one! You have to fill in every box, putting 1 next to the candidate you would most like to win, and continuing chronologically in this manner until the candidate you like the least has the highest number next to their name. For example, on the sample ballot shown, 1 is this person’s first preference, and 8 is this person’s last preference.

The important thing to remember for this paper is that every box must be numbered, and the numbers must be understandable, for your vote to be counted. What this means is that you couldn’t fill in an 8-candidate ballot by just putting a one next to your favoured candidate and leaving the rest blank, or skipping any numbers from 1 to 8, or putting in random numbers, and have your vote be counted.

You can practice voting for the house of representatives here.

If you make a mistake, don’t panic! Just erase it. If the mistake is visible and it could cause confusion about what your intentions are, ask for a new ballot paper.

On the lower house ballot, for any candidates listed who have since resigned from their parties or been disendorsed, you must still put a number in the box next to their name. These candidates can still be elected - they just won’t serve as members of those parties.

THE SENATE/THE UPPER HOUSE
This ballot paper is going to be white, and large. The sample ballot paper shows 8 sections - the ballot paper for this election will have 32 sections.

ID: Sample of a senate ballot paper. It’s wide, and has a white background. The page is divided horizontally by a heavy black line under the top third of the page, and vertically by thin grey vertical lines into 8 sections which are labeled at the top of the page with a letter (A, B, C, and so on, but the last section is unlabeled). The page header reads “Senate Ballot Paper”, then “ State  - Election of 6 Senators”. Directly across from this on the other end of the page is a spot for a polling official to initial. There are boxes both above and below the heavy line. The boxes above the line have only “PARTY” underneath the boxes, and pretend logos above them. Below the line, the sections are labeled by “PARTY”, with the exception of the last two sections - one is unlabelled, and the other is labelled “UNGROUPED”. Below the line, the boxes have “SURNAME, Given Names” to the right of them, and then underneath the name of the candidate in smaller text is “PARTY” or INDEPENDENT”. On the left of the page are bolded instructions. They read: “You may vote in one of two ways. Either: Above the line, by numbering at least  6  of these boxes in the order of your choice (with number 1 as your first choice). Or: Below the line, by numbering at least  12  of these boxes in the order of your choice (with number 1 as your first choice).” There’s a banner across the right corner of the paper which reads “SAMPLE”.

On the upper house ballot, any candidates listed who have since resigned from their parties or been disendorsed can still be elected, but you do not have to vote for anyone you do not wish to.

There are two ways to use this particular ballot paper. One of them gives you less freedom, and one of them gives you more freedom.

ABOVE THE LINE

The simpler way to vote is to vote above the line, because you have half as many boxes to fill out. You have to fill out at least 6 boxes with every number between 1 and 6 inclusive in order of your top 6 preferences, with 1 being your first preference. You can number more, you just absolutely cannot number fewer.

This is less precise because you’re selecting everyone in the party as listed on the ballot, in that order - which you may not necessarily agree with! So voting above the line gives you a little less freedom to express your preferences, but it is quicker and easier to do.

Do not put a number next to any of the parties that you least want to be elected.

A screenshot of a sample of a senate ballot paper. It’s wide, and has a white background. The page is divided horizontally by a heavy black line under the top third of the page, and vertically by thin grey vertical lines into 8 sections which are labeled at the top of the page with a letter (A, B, C, and so on, but the last section is unlabeled). The page header reads “Senate Ballot Paper”, then “ State  - Election of 6 Senators”. Directly across from this on the other end of the page is a spot for a polling official to initial. There are boxes both above and below the heavy line. The boxes above the line have only “PARTY” underneath the boxes, and pretend logos above them. Of the 8 sections, only the ones labelled with letters have boxes in them - the last section is blank. The seven boxes have been randomly numbered 1 to 6, with one box left blank. There’s a banner across the right corner of the paper which reads “SAMPLE”.

You can practice voting for the senate here.

BELOW THE LINE
Voting below the line is good because it’s more precise. Your preferences aren’t ordered by the party, so if you think one particular candidate in one party you otherwise like is dodge you can just not vote for them, or put them last in that group, or do whatever you like because you have the power!

To vote below the line, you must number a minimum of 12 boxes with every number between 1 and 12 inclusive in order of your top 12 preferences, with 1 being your first preference. You can number more, you just absolutely cannot number fewer.

Screenshot of a practice vote for the senate. The parties are, in order from group A, “MIST PARTY”, “RAIN PARTY”, “FOG/SUN PARTY”, “HUMID PARTY”, “BREEZE PARTY”, “CLOUD PARTY”, blank, and then “UNGROUPED”. The name of the Fog/Sun Party has been enclosed in pink, and the name of the Humid Party has been enclosed in blue. There is a big red cross in the bottom left corner of the image. The practice vote has been filled out, with preference going first to the Mist Party, then the Rain Party (though not in the order the party listed them), then the Breeze Party, then to two of the three candidates of the Cloud Party, one of the candidates in the blank section, and lastly the independent candidate in the UNGROUPED section

The only other thing to keep in mind when voting for the senate is how to avoid the most common pitfall: not accidentally contributing to the win of a party you hate.

HOW TO AVOID CONTRIBUTING TO THE WIN OF A PARTY YOU HATE
When you vote, you’ve already had to make a decision about the two major parties. Which one do you hate more/which one do you trust less. To ensure that you don’t accidentally effectively vote for that party, you will have to include the one you hate the least in your preferences somewhere.

This is because preferential voting is a numbers game. The way it works is that you vote in order of your preference, with no consideration for their likelihood of winning. Then when the votes are added up, if your first preference was for, like, ‘Queers 4 Cupcakes’, and they didn’t get enough votes overall to win anything, your vote is moved to your second preference. And so on until they find a candidate that wins something. If you don’t include preferences for one of the two major parties (and none of your preferences win) once they reach the end of your preference list that’s it, you haven’t given them anything else to count from you.

Screenshot of a practice vote for the senate. The parties are, in order from group A, “MIST PARTY”, “RAIN PARTY”, “FOG/SUN PARTY”, “HUMID PARTY”, “BREEZE PARTY”, “CLOUD PARTY”, blank, and then “UNGROUPED”. The name of the Fog/Sun Party has been enclosed in pink, and the name of the Humid Party has been enclosed in blue. There is a big red cross in the bottom left corner of the image. The practice vote has been filled out, with preference going first to the Mist Party, then the Rain Party (though not in the order the party listed them), then the Breeze Party, then to two of the three candidates of the Cloud Party, one of the candidates in the blank section, and lastly the independent candidate in the UNGROUPED section.

I’ve picked two of these parties - the Fog/Sun Party and the Humid Party - to be the major parties. I picked them because I don’t like humidity or the sun, and this is weather based. If the election comes down to the two major parties the above vote will run out of preferences before then, and won’t have a say in which party wins. Their vote still counts, and contributes towards getting more candidates from their preferred parties in the government.

Compare this to the following example.

Screenshot of a practice vote for the senate. The parties are, in order from group A, “MIST PARTY”, “RAIN PARTY”, “FOG/SUN PARTY”, “HUMID PARTY”, “BREEZE PARTY”, “CLOUD PARTY”, blank, and then “UNGROUPED”. The name of the Fog/Sun Party has been enclosed in pink, and the name of the Humid Party has been enclosed in blue. There is a big green tick in the bottom left corner of the image. The practice vote has been filled out, with preference going first to the Mist Party, then the Rain Party (though not in the order the party listed them), then the Breeze Party, then to two of the three candidates of the Cloud Party, one of the candidates in the blank section, the independent candidate in the UNGROUPED section, and then lastly the Fog Party candidate and then the Sun Party candidate (this is a coalition party) as votes 13 and 14. The votes for the Fog/Sun Party are circled in green

The original preferencing hasn’t changed - there’s just a safety mechanism built in now. Because this ballot now has a preference in it for the Fog/Sun Party at the very end, if none of the nicer weather conditions win, this is still a vote against the Humid Party.

Again, you can practice voting for the senate here.

VOTING INFORMATION IN EASY ENGLISH AND LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH

For voting information in other languages, go here!

Written information is available in Arabic, Assyrian, Bosnian, Burmese, “Chinese”, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, Filipino, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Macedonian, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Telephone interpreter services are available in Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Macedonian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. If you need an interpreter for another language, call the number at the end of the list.

There’s also an Auslan guide to enrolling and voting here.

There are also three easy English guides. One on how to enrol (PDF and Word), one on how to vote at a polling place (PDF and Word), and one on how to vote by post (PDF and Word).


This concludes our three part ‘how to vote’ series. Thanks for reading. If you’re like, ‘but Ygender, I’m really glad you told me all this, but I am extremely overwhelmed that I will be choosing between (approximately) between 4 and 13 candidates for the lower house and 81 candidates for the upper house, what do I do?’ we again have you covered. Here’s our guide to all of the parties and independent candidates and what they’ve said about queer rights: https://www.ygender.org.au/blog/2019/5/15/heres-what-every-party-in-the-federal-election-has-to-say-about-queer-rights