Marriage Equality: Enrol by 6pm tomorrow to be eligible to vote in the Postal Survey

You can do that here.

If you are already on the electoral roll, you will have a copy of the survey sent to you at your electoral roll address.  So no, you do not have to register separately for this survey.  But you really do want to make sure it gets to the right place, so please, check your enrolment with the AEC, and if necessary, change your address.

If you are likely to be away from home during the period of the survey, you can register a separate address with the ABS by calling the ABS Information Line on 1800 572 113.

If you will be overseas during the period of the survey you can ask for a Secure Access Code to complete the survey online. You can do either of these things by contacting the ABS Information Line on 1800 572 113 between September 25 and October 20.

Incidentally how cool is this news from the Australian Electoral Commission?

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If we have to have this survey, at least we are getting more young people politically engaged.  That is an absolute good, in my opinion.

Speaking of ‘if we have to have this survey’, there are currently two challenges sitting with the High Court, which I understand are due to be decided on the 5th and 6th of September.  So it’s entirely possible that the only effect of this postal survey will be to increase the number of voters in the next election… I wonder how many of them will vote for the current government?

On another note, I’ve read a lot of people asking about what the actual survey will say.  According to the ABS website, the question that the survey will ask is: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

I’m not sure how to analyse the wording.  From my (mostly straight, cis perspective), it looks pretty good.  I understand that the trans community has been concerned about being excluded by the wording, and I can see that being an issue.  However, this wording does have the advantage of clarity for voters who may not be versed in queer theory.  It also has the advantage of being difficult to deliberately misconstrue as allowing people to marry the Sydney Harbour Bridge (thanks, Eric, for that fascinating flight of fancy, and concerning insight into the way your mind works.) (Incidentally, if you really believe that people might be able to marry the Sydney Harbour Bridge under marriage equality laws, I have a bridge I could sell you.) (Thus giving a whole new meaning to Procurement…) (Sorry).

Silly bridge jokes aside, I’m not sure how you weigh the concerns of trans people against the importance of a question that is crystal clear and not open to weird interpretations.  My inclination would be to favour clarity at the survey stage, and then petition fiercely for proper inclusion once we reach the point of actual legislation, but I realise that I’m not directly affected by this one, so may not be the best person to comment.

(And yes, I’m afraid that this is going to be quite a one-note politics blog over the next few weeks.  It’s not that Marriage Equality is the only issue I care about, or even that it is the most important one.  But it is an issue where there is a limited amount of time in which to make a difference, and one where I think change in the short term is really possible.  It’s also an issue which directly affects the people I love, so I think it is a good place to pour my political energies right now.  I shall go back to beating my head against the wall of political obduracy over asylum seekers once this is over. God knows, that issue isn’t going to go away any time soon.)

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