Australians have already started receiving their marriage equality postal survey forms in the mail. Here’s how to make sure your Yes vote is counted.
The instructions provided have been much less specific than is usually standard with election ballots.
The pressure is now on to Vote Yes and return your form as soon as you receive it so we can get marriage equality over the line.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has now released guidelines as to what constitutes a valid marking on a survey form.
You can tick, cross or shade in the Yes box on a postal survey form in order to show you’re voting in favour of marriage equality.
However the ABS has encouraged against tampering with certain wording on the form, such as the question or the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ next to each respective box.
Many people object to the wording of the question, believing that it should ask if “two people” should be able to marry, rather than if equality should be afforded to “same-sex couples”.
Putting a marking in both boxes or altering the barcode on the form may also invalidate your postal survey vote.
Bear in mind, too, that if you make a mistake you don’t necessarily have to request a new form. You can strike out a mistake and write your intended vote clearly on the form to have it counted.
While it’s terrific to share your completed Yes vote on social media so friends and family are encouraged to complete theirs too, be careful about exactly what you share.
If you do take photo or video of your form, make sure you block out the unique barcode on your form as this could allow for fraud to occur, Buzzfeed has reported.
While it won’t allow people to duplicate your form since each barcode will only be counted once, if someone were to copy it and return it before you a No vote could end up being counted under your name.
“We would encourage people not to photograph their unique code and place it online,” an ABS spokesperson said.
Remember that the forms will come with a reply paid envelope, which should also be left intact and won’t need a stamp.
Lastly, make sure you put your form in a mailbox as soon as possible to ensure the ABS receives it.