Make Protest Voting a Valid Vote on Australian Ballot Papers
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This is a petition to all Australian politicians to have ‘protest voting’ added to Australian ballot papers, allowing those who wish to express a vote of discontent to have their vote counted. In Australia, it is compulsory to vote. While I do not agree with compulsory voting, this is not a campaign to repeal the Commonwealth or State Acts that make it an obligation rather than a right to vote. It is a campaign that advocates for a protest vote to be counted as a valid vote. Here’s how it could work;
· A box is added to Australian ballot papers that enables voters who are disappointed with politics, in general or for whatever reason, to cast a valid vote
· Protest voters would have the option to make or attach comments when they tick this box
· Candidates who get 4% of the primary vote get $2.62 for every vote. So, if the protest vote reaches this threshold, then the same value goes to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or some other analytical body) to assess issues around voter discontent. Moreover, regardless of whether protest votes reach 4%, the results/comments/reasons should be made public
· Pressure should be put on politicians to take the issues realised through protest voting seriously.
If elections resulted in a majority of protest votes, or protest votes led to an election result being unable to be called, then a re-election would take place giving politicians the opportunity to address the issues presented by protest voters.
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