Just interrupting the seemingly endless flow of political parties with a couple of items that may be of interest to dedicated Legislative Council voters.
First, thanks to a new rule, if you vote below the line in this election, you only need to fill out your first five preferences for your vote to be considered formal (this is called Optional Preferential Voting). Any numbers beyond that will still count, but if you are worried about losing track of your numbering, worry no more – just make sure you get the first five right, and then you can rest easy that your vote will be counted.
Do be aware that if you do only number your first five preferences below the line, there is a chance that your vote will become ‘exhausted’ – which is to say, if your favourite five candidates are all excluded from the count at some point, due to insufficient quotas, there will be nowhere for your preferences to go, and so your vote will be out of play at that point. But this is still better than getting things mixed up and winding up with no vote at all.
Personally, I wish we had the option of numbering parties according to preference above the line, but we don’t, so please do not do that. If you do, the party with a (1) next to its name will get your vote, and your preferences will then follow that party’s Group Voting Ticket.
And do be aware that if you number things both above and below the line, your below-the-line vote will be given priority over your above-the line vote. So, provided your below-the-line vote is formal (i.e., has the first five numbers marked), this will be what is counted for you, not whatever you wrote above the line. If your below-the-line vote isn’t formal, your above the line vote will be counted instead. And yes, I know people who do both, just for the sake of insurance, though the VEC does not encourage this.
And finally, here’s a resource for those who feel that optional preferential voting is all very well, but we still like to vote our way down the entire list of candidates. It’s called Cluey Voter, and allows you to first rank your parties in a general sort of order of preference, and then swap numbers around on the actual ballot paper. If you press ‘check’ it will tell you if you have duplicated or missed out any numbers. When you are done, you can print out your ticket, ready to take to your polling booth, so that you have a cheat sheet when you go to vote. Please do not vote with the printout, as this is *not* a valid vote (do I even have to say that?). The idea is that you can quickly copy numbers across and not worry about missing things.
PS – the alert among you will have noticed that my review of the Basics Rock ‘n’ Roll Party has disappeared. This is because I screwed up in a big way, and confused them with a similarly-named party. I will re-do this post tonight, and hopefully get to the DLP as well. (I’m a bit sick this week, and it’s slowing me down)