The Senate Ballot paper for the 2013 election.
The Senate Ballot paper for the 2013 election. Cathy Adams

How to make your vote count in Senate and House of Reps

VOTING can be confusing so we've compiled a guide to make it clearer.

Tomorrow you will have to fill in two ballot papers.

House of Reps

The green ballot paper is for the House of Representatives and will have the surname followed by the given name of the candidates in your electorate with their party name on the line below.

To make your vote count on the green paper, you must number ALL of the boxes from one to six in Richmond or Page.

Do not put a tick, cross or other mark and do not leave boxes blank or your vote will not be counted.

Think of the green paper as a sporting team; you've got to have all the players in their positions to play the game, if you've just got one player on the field, you'll be knocked out of the tournament.

Senate

The second paper is the white ballot paper which lists the Senate candidates who are in the running to represent all of NSW in Parliament, not just one electorate.

For the Senate you can vote above or below the line.

If you vote above the line, simply place a numeral one in the box for the party of your choice.

This option takes less time but means you have less control of where your preferences go and you run the risk of your vote going to a party you don't support because of preference deals with the party you vote for.

For example, this year, Greens preferences will go to WikiLeaks, the Democrats and the Sex Party before they reach Labor.

Your second option for the white ballot paper is to vote below the line and if you do this, you must number every box from one to 110 for your vote to count.

Political commentator Dr Roslyn Irwin said voting below the line was a way to ensure your preferences "flow the way you would like them to".

"To vote below the line, you need to do a bit of reading before," Dr Irwin said.

"Unfortunately, one of the real tragedies around our electoral system is that there isn't a wide understanding of politics."

Think of voting below the line like ranking all the teams in the State from the top to the bottom of the ladder - you can make it clear who you support and who you believe isn't playing well this season.



How to save $200 on your electricity bill

How to save $200 on your electricity bill

Slash your power bill and reduce your impact on the environment

12 fantastic things to do this week

12 fantastic things to do this week

From ice skating in Ballina to a tantra festival in Byron Bay

Attention gin lovers: Impressive wins for local distillery

Attention gin lovers: Impressive wins for local distillery

North Coast distillery takes out top gongs at major competition

Local Partners