Voting 101

So you’re about to turn 18 or have already? Righto, it’s time to get you enrolled! For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, we’ll be heading to the polls on 14 September 2013, so fortunately you’ll get to exercise those special adult rights this year.

As you may or may not know, voting is compulsory in our fair land of Oz. If you don’t vote, you can be fined (up to $50 plus court costs, eep!), so it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re on the electoral roll well before any action takes place. The cut-off date for enrolling (formally known as the Close of Rolls) for this election is 8pm on Monday, 19 August 2013. There are more important dates here. To get yourself enrolled, simply register on the AEC website, or if you’re still scratching your head, contact them here.

*Fast-forward a few months.*

So, it’s election day – now what? Hitch a ride with the ‘rents, a friend, or your dog to the nearest designated institution (it could be a school, hall, etc) in the area that you’re enrolled in, aka ‘electorate’. Brace yourself and prepare to be bombarded with party representatives flinging out flyers and business cards in a final attempt at getting your vote. Once you squeeze past them though, the whole ordeal is pretty cruisey. Just line up and the polling official will ask you some questions and let you know exactly what you need to do. If you want a heads-up, check out the detailed instructions and perform a practice vote here.

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But the biggest question is… WHO SHOULD YOU VOTE FOR?

Well, we can’t answer that! You may already know where your loyalty lies, or you simply have no idea. Check out the AEC website for some info on the different parties out there, and research their different policies – it may help with your decision to choose the party that best represents your views.

If you’re keen and want to find out more about our political system and government, you may want to check out some titles like Australian Politics for Dummies, The Passion of Politics, and other titles in stock.

 

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