The Australian Bureau of Statistics today announced that an estimated 11.9 million (74.5 per cent) postal survey forms have been returned and that scanning of returned forms has officially begun.

Previously, the ABS figures had been estimated based on bulk containers of forms received rather than a physical count.

The estimate based on scanned forms represents a sharp jump from last week’s 67.5 per cent, but the ABS says that they received just 300,000 new forms since October 17.

Only four days remain until the recommended deadline for forms to be returned, meaning roughly 4 million Australians have not yet responded to the survey.

“Today’s result shows that Australians clearly want this issue to be dealt with as quickly as possible,” said The Equality Campaign director Tiernan Brady.

“We hope that a strong YES result will encourage Parliament to ensure marriage equality is a reality in Australia by Christmas.

“To be sure that their votes will be counted by the ABS, Australians should make sure they have posted their YES votes by this Friday 27 October.”

Queensland Field Director for The Equality Campaign Nita Green said her team have observed a positive response to their efforts there.

“We have seen a great groundswell of support for YES in Queensland, and continue to ask supporters to speak to their friends, families and colleagues about voting before it’s too late,” she said.

If the estimated figure holds, it will represent a higher participation rate than recent high-profile polls such as the Irish same-sex marriage referendum (60.5 per cent) and the U.K.’s Brexit vote (71.8 per cent).

While it’s now too late to request a replacement postal survey form, the final deadline for returning your Yes is 6pm on November 7.

Head to the ABS postal survey website for more information on returning your form: https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/

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