How To Vote In The Federal Election (And Still Draw A D*ck If You Want To)
It’s a great Australian pastime, up there with Christmas barbeques and beach cricket: drawing a dick on a ballot paper as a big ‘fuck you’ to politicians.
What is often overlooked is that it’s possible to send that message to pollies AND to cast a valid vote. Por que no los dos?
Prepare yourself for democracy: two pieces of paper and a pencil attached to some string.
When you rock up at your local polling booth on Saturday, possibly after chowing down on a sausage of a different sort from the barbie outside, you’ll be handed two sheets of paper - a normal-sized white one, and a fuck-off huge green one. Think of them as Tyrion Lannister and the Mountain. Tyrion is for the House of Reps; and the Mountain is for the Senate. You vote differently for each one.
Drawing the dick, if you must.
There’s actually no law against drawing penises on ballot papers. The most straightforward way to do it is to number the boxes correctly and then draw a dick – of whatever size, shape ande detail you like – outside the boxes.
Your vote will also still count if you don’t quite follow the instructions but your intention is clear. For example, you might decide you want to draw a truly impressive chode in one of the boxes instead of a number. If you draw a legend down the bottom of the page (e.g. “Dick = 2”) they might well understand your intention to be clear.
In the Senate, if you draw a penis that looks extraordinarily like a ‘1’ in a box above the line, that might count too.
For the people out there with dicks of their own, do not - I repeat, DO NOT - draw a lifelike imitation of your own penis. No self-portraits! The law is clear: if a vote identifies a voter, it doesn’t count.
Also, while dicks in some contexts are legit, TICKS are not. Do not TICK or CROSS the box...numbers only peeps.
The Tyrion ballot: House of Representatives.
The House of Reps ballot is where you choose who you want to represent your local electorate in the Parliament. The key thing to remember here is that you HAVE to number each box. Don’t just stop at 1. Don’t stop at 2! NUMBER THEM ALL.
The Mountain ballot: Senate.
When you’re voting for the Senate, you’re not voting on behalf of your local area - you’re voting on behalf of your State. And to mix things up a bit, we just underwent a massive change to how we vote in the Senate.
Because democracy is all about choice, you can even choose how you want to vote – above or below the line. If you vote above the line, you have to choose which parties or groups you want to chuck a vote at, by numbering the boxes from 1 to at least 6 (you can stop at 6 or go for your life). And if you fuck it up and stop before 6, your vote will still count, as long as you do a ‘1’. Then those parties decide on your behalf which individuals to send your vote to.
— Dr Mel Thomson (@DrMel_T) June 18, 2016
And if you vote below the line, you vote for which individual you want to get elected. It’s more work for you, though - you have to number from 1 to at least 12.
Only one person will win the House of Reps election for your electorate, but 12 senators from each state will get picked.
Choosing who to vote for.
There are loads of parties on the Senate ballot and some of them have weird names, like the Sex Party and the Pirate Party, and there will be many more options than on the Tyrion ballot. That can make it hard to choose who to vote for, especially when some of their names don’t actually tell you what they stand for. Take the Sustainable Australia Party - they’re not about recycling, they’re about stopping immigration.
Luckily, a group of young savvy tech types put together Donkey Votie, which will tell you in words we can all understand what each party is about. ‘eck it out.
When you go into that polling booth, a lot of keen political beans are going to thrust a lot of paper in your face. Take it, read it, if you want - but remember that they’re just recommendations for how each party would like you to order your preferences. Ultimately, you can decide what order to put the candidates in.
- Hannah Ryan.