For anyone who missed the news, the Double Dissolution was called today, and the election will be on July 2.
The Electoral Rolls will close at 8pm on May 23rd, so if you have not already done so, please make sure you are enrolled to vote – you can check your registration here. (Yes, this is longer than the one week which is the legal minimum. Turnbull has chosen to delay issuing writs by a week, and to lengthen the time to enrol for an extra week after writs are issued. This is a good thing, but please don’t be complacent – make sure you get onto this if you have moved or have just turned 18. It doesn’t take long, but it’s important!)
Nominations will close on June 9, and ballot paper details will be issued the next day, with early voting opening on June 14. If you are travelling between June 14 and July 2, the AEC provides information here on how to vote. A number of Australian airports, and many of our consulates and embassies overseas, have overseas voting centres. This list, naturally, does not exist yet, and by the time it does, I’ll be overseas myself, so I recommend checking back on June 14. You can also apply for a postal vote here, and this will be sent to you at an address nominated by you on or after June 14. Depending on where you are located, this may or may not be practical.
From the point of view of this blog, the decision to close nominations on June 9 means that I will definitely not know who is on the ballot paper in Victoria before I leave, which is frustrating. At this stage, I plan to write up as many of the absolutely new parties as I can between now and then (once my other writing projects, and, you know, my full time job (!) allow time for this). I am probably going to prioritise those parties which appear either especially entertaining or especially enraging, because this is going to be a bit of a gruelling task and I might as well get some fun out of it! If there is anyone that you are desperate to hear about as soon as possible, let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.
Once I’m back in Australia on June 29, you may or may not be treated to jetlag-fuelled analyses of the independents on the Victorian Ballot. I’ll also link to anyone I find who is also analysing small parties – once again, if you spot anyone good, please link to them in the comments, ideally on my 2016 Election page.
And in the meantime, if you haven’t read it already, go and have a quick look at my post on the new Senate Voting rules. You’ll want to bear these in mind on July 2 (or whenever you cast your early vote)…