5 things you need to know to participate in the postal vote

Unless you are living under rock with no television, radio or politically-inclined associates (you will need a mailbox though) you probably know that the Australian government has announced a postal “vote” on same-sex marriage.

The opinions of Australians on changing the law to allow marriage between two men or two women will be collected and counted in November, 2017, by post. 

Some things you need to know to have your voice heard...

1. It is not a vote 

It’s not a referendum or plebiscite either. To be exact it’s a survey. That means participation is voluntary and that politicians are not legally bound to act on the result. 

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics states, “The Treasurer has directed the Australian Statistician to request statistical information from all Australians as to the view on whether or not the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry.” 

2. But you need to be on the electoral roll to participate

The survey will be sent to the mailboxes of all people on the Australian Electoral Roll. If you are not on the electoral roll or your address is wrong on the electoral roll you will not get a survey. 

3. You have less than two weeks to enroll

If your address has changed or you have not enrolled to vote you have until August 24 to update your details on the Australian Electoral Roll. You will not be fined if you have previously missed votes because your were not enrolled. ​Updating information and enrolling can take a number of days so do it now. 

4. Nag all young people to check their enrollment

At the last election 13.3 percent of 18-24 year olds who could have voted, had not enrolled. Even more young people do not have fixed addresses or have recently moved.

If you know a young person who wants their voice heard in the survey remind them to check their details are correct on the electoral roll by going to the AEC website

5. It will arrive by mail

The surveys will arrive at your home in envelopes by snail mail. People will start receiving them in September.

The ABS said they will release details about how Australians who do not have access to mail, are vision impaired, overseas or do not have fixed addresses can participate in the survey soon