Make your vote count – understanding voting and preferences

If you know a young person voting in their first federal election in Higgins this Saturday, or you need a refresher yourself, this article aims to explain some basics of voting before they, or you, head off to a polling booth.

Climate is currently the biggest existential threat to humans, so if you’re planning to Vote Climate, research candidate and party climate policies before Saturday.

The ABC’s Politics Explained: House of Representatives vs The Senate video covers the basics of voting in Australia, and is a good start for someone about to vote for the first time.

The national broadcaster’s chief election analyst Antony Green has covered more than 90 elections since 1989. Click HERE to see his answers to common questions about voting and preferences.Voting can be daunting if you’re not prepared. While how-to-vote cards handed out by political parties and independents can be a helpful guide to cast a formal vote by reminding you to fill out all the boxes, you may not agree with the order of preferences suggested. Lighter Footprints (a member of Higgins CAN) and Glen Eira Emergency Climate Action Network (GECAN) have put out a non-partisan climate scorecard for Higgins candidates. Higgins is a marginal seat, click HERE to read more about why voting Climate is important this election and to view the scorecard.

Preferential voting means that the person who wins the most ‘first preference’ votes may not necessarily win the seat.

If you’re wondering whether preference deals between parties make any difference, you can learn more HERE.

You can also watch this video about voting in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Remember, YOU are free to vote how you choose by numbering the candidates according to your personal preference. Take your time and ensure you follow the Australian Electoral Commission instructions carefully.

Below we’ve listed just the first four preferences on how-to-vote cards being distributed by the three major party candidates in Higgins this election. Remember, all 8 boxes in the Higgins House of Representatives ballot paper need to be numbered from 1 to 8 for your vote to be counted.

Katie Allen (Liberal)

  1. ALLEN, Katie (Liberal)
  2. FORD, Matthew (United Australia Party)
  3. WALKER, Alicia (Animal Justice)
  4. JOHNSON, Andrew (Reason)

Michelle Ananda-Rajah (Labor)

  1. ANANDA-RAJAH, Michelle (Labor)
  2. JOHNSON, Andrew (Reason)
  3. WALKER, Alicia (Animal Justice)
  4. SEMMENS, Sonya (The Greens)

Sonya Semmens (The Greens)

  1. SEMMENS, Sonya ((The Greens)
  2. JOHNSON, Andrew (Reason)
  3. WALKER, Alicia, (Animal Justice)
  4. ANANDA-RAJAH (Labor)
Voting in the Senate

Voting in the Senate can be confusing because you have the choice to vote above or below the line. So it’s not a bad idea to go over the basics once more before heading to your local polling booth. Click HERE to read the Australian Electoral Commission’s guide on how to vote in the Senate.

Good luck! Go out there and make a difference.