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  1. #31
    Join Date
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    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
    Yes, I understand that that's the way the system works, but as the saying goes, they can screw you, but they can't make you love the child.

    Damian, it is indeed illegal to encourage anyone not to complete all squares on their ballot paper, but if anyone wishes to read how this can be done and still have a vote count, I suggest casting a glance at the case of Langer v the Commonwealth. Not that I would suggest that anyone do this, of course, as Mr. Langer found out.
    Hi Alex
    my recollection is that Langer was done for contempt of court for breaching what was probably a dubious injunction that acted to suppress his rights to vote as he pleased, including clearly expressing a non-opinion on the merits of the various candidates

    It is also my recollection that after Langer's advocacy the Commonwealth Electoral Act was changed to automatically count a "Langer vote" -- voting 1-2-3-3-3, etc -- as an informal vote. To be formal a House of Reps vote must be numbered consecutively -- I'm not sure if using prime numbers 1-2-3-5-7-11, etc or a Fibonacci sequence (1-2-3-5-8, etc) would constitute a formal vote.

    Might be interesting to give it a try.



    As to senate voting -- Damien's post #27 -- numbering the Senate boxes above the line gave back to the voter the ability to assign preferences as they wished -- rather than have those preferences distributed as was agreed by "back-room party deals".
    regards from Canada

    ian

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  3. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    There are vote-saving provisions in the Electoral Act that allow some ballot papers to be included in the count even though the voting rules have not been fully met.
    For House of Representatives ballot papers the requirement for a formal vote is that every square must contain a consecutive number for all candidates on a ballot paper to be a formal vote (see section 240 of the Electoral Act). This is the instruction that is printed on these ballot papers. However, there is a vote-saving measure that can operate where one square is left blank and where preferences for all other candidates have been marked with a consecutive number (see paragraph 268(1)(c)).
    For Senate ballot papers the requirement for a formal vote is that when voting above the line, at least the numbers 1 to 6 shall be marked in the squares on the ballot paper (see subsection 239(2)). For voting below the line, the requirement is that at least the numbers 1 to 12 are marked in the squares printed on the ballot paper (see subsection 239(1)). However, there is a vote savings measure that can operate where only one square is marked above the line (see section 269), or where voting below the line, at least six squares have been marked 1 to 6 using consecutive numbers (see section 268A).

    Counting the votes – Frequently Asked Questions - Australian Electoral Commission

    Looks like they changed the rules (again). It used to be some number, say the first 3 had to be consecutive then if you spoiled the rest it'd still count (house of reps). They seem to have reined that in. Pity we can't demand partial preferential, it really is the best of all worlds....
    I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
    We live in a free country. We have freedom of choice. You can choose to agree with me, or you can choose to be wrong.
    Wait! No one told you your government was a sitcom?

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