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Informal votes


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#1 TinCatšŸ±

Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:44 AM

With the high amount of informal votes, do you think it is worth having some sort of check system set up in in the polling booth?

While I don't agree with it, I am not trying to force those who deliberately informally voted to change their ways, but more a check to make sure those who are trying to vote are getting it right.

It just surprises me that the informal votes are so high and this high percentage is really all deliberate?

#2 blue86

Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:52 AM

If people have tried, and their intention is clear (ie, missed a number, crossed one out and rewrote it) their vote is still counted.

Informals are those with no vote whatsoever - d*ck pics, messages, kebab orders and so on. It can be seen as a form of protest either to the choices presented, or having to vote at all. While I wish everyone would take it seriously, you can't force people.

And I'd rather they complete an informal ballot than a donkey vote. They still count, and are how crazies like the lib dems got a senate seat last time - 1st position matters

#3 kadoodle

Posted 07 July 2016 - 12:34 PM

All the informals at my booth were of the "**** you, and the horse you rode in on" variety.

#4 TinCatšŸ±

Posted 07 July 2016 - 12:40 PM

View Postkadoodle, on 07 July 2016 - 12:34 PM, said:

All the informals at my booth were of the "**** you, and the horse you rode in on" variety.

Wow. Guess there is a lot more deliberate informals than I thought.

#5 katpaws

Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:12 PM

I did the last Victorian State election - lots of votes for Mr Penis. However working on the Federal election (no votes for Mr Penis that i saw), lots of people wrote on House of Rep ballot papers comments like "i hate you all", "i don't want to vote for any of you". While i didn't count a lot of senate ballot papers, the ones i did that were informal were left blank or the person had voted above and below the line but not in a way you could identify who their preferences were. Not many comments written on them. Many people who came to the polling station thought the House of Rep ballot paper was the "1-6" voting system. It was difficult explaining above and below voting to many people, especially those from an NESB. I think it was generally confusing to people and the paper was too big with too many parties on it. It should have been preference six above or six below to make it easier (not 6 above and 12 below) or just telling people they could put a one in any of the boxes. I also think people were very angry, angry about the size of the senate ballot paper and the government and the politicians.

I don't think people should have their votes checked, even if that sounds unfair and letting people waste their votes. I think the system has to be better, people need to be educated better on voting in Australia (better programs etc) and more people should have been at the polling stations to help people. There should have been a help desk where someone could have provided guidance. But i think a lot of people chose to go informal, which is their democratic right.

Edited by katpaws, 07 July 2016 - 06:13 PM.


#6 JustBeige

Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:35 PM

We did have quite a few informals.  

One lad(?) went to the trouble of drawing tiny little penises?...peni?.... blokes junk, on the HoR paper.

Unfortunately in HoR what we did have is HEAPS of blank and a lot with just the number 1 written down.

Apparently there was radio advertising up here that was saying you only need to put a 1 in.

Senate wasnt really too bad either.  lots of Blanks; 1 x No Thank you very much :) (yes they put a smiley face).   A few Eff offs and that was it.

tbh, I was a bit surprised as we serviced a very large low socio economic / low education area.

What I wasnt surprised about is the large number of One Nation votes.  disheartened but not surprised.


ETA:

Quote

and more people should have been at the polling stations to help people. There should have been a help desk where someone could have provided guidance
Yep absolutely

#7 TinCatšŸ±

Posted 07 July 2016 - 08:56 PM

Love the idea of a help desk

#8 MerryMadrigalMadge

Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:08 PM

I helped several voters on Saturday, mainly who had physical difficulty writing.

We had 8 contenders on the HoR ballot, and we did have quite a few informal that were 1-6, instead of 1-8.

Otherwise just the standard blanks and just a 1 instead of all the numbers.

#9 c.sanders

Posted 08 July 2016 - 04:13 AM

I wonder how many votes are lost because people got confused how to vote.

#10 Froggilicious

Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:49 AM

I was an OIC of a polling booth this year and we were allocated staff to explain voting to people, however we were so busy I needed to use her to issue allot papers. Part of the speil includes asking if people need help. And. I had staff allocated to doing just that. They were far busier this year than in other years. I will acknowledge that maybe the avail joint of assistance needed to be more clearly advertised.

Having said that I read an interesting article on Sunday (I'll try to find it) that suggests that the increase in informal voting is due to deliberate informal voting rather than accidental informals. That an analysis indicates that there has not been an increase in accidental informals, and that deliberate informals appear to be the result of disenfranchised younger voters trying to register their frustration with the system, potentially not realising that by opting out of the vote they make themselves less relevant to the politicians. I'll try to find it.

Here

http://mobile.abc.ne...ballots/7544994

Edited by Froggilicious, 08 July 2016 - 05:54 AM.


#11 Lesley225

Posted 09 July 2016 - 01:15 PM

There should be an enquiry officer in all/most places which is there to help people vote.

#12 SplashingRainbows

Posted 09 July 2016 - 01:33 PM

View PostTinFeralCat, on 07 July 2016 - 11:44 AM, said:

With the high amount of informal votes, do you think it is worth having some sort of check system set up in in the polling booth?

While I don't agree with it, I am not trying to force those who deliberately informally voted to change their ways, but more a check to make sure those who are trying to vote are getting it right.

It just surprises me that the informal votes are so high and this high percentage is really all deliberate?

I know quite a few people who voted informally for the first time this election.

I don't think there's a literacy issue. The issue is middle class Australia is fed up with our current politicians on both sides. It's as much of a protest vote as anything else.

In our safe labor electorate, informal votes simply means the big party gets less funding as they get less votes. They still won, but the biggest way joe blow average gets to protest is to deny them a little bit of funding.

#13 Literary Lemur

Posted 09 July 2016 - 03:05 PM

Id love a computerised system that alerted people if they had not filled it in correctly.



#14 eilca

Posted 09 July 2016 - 03:13 PM

I witnessed a very public informal vote despite all the help in the world.  An elderly man sat and had his name marked off and then got up to leave without the papers.  A loud conversation from him announced he had done as required, had his name marked off, and he refused for vote for any bloody clown.

Despite the intervention and assistance from the officials he refused to do anything with his papers and the officials then decided they must put the blank papers in the boxes as his record of vote.

Such a shame that his silent protest did not achieve anything.

#15 Hands Up

Posted 09 July 2016 - 03:27 PM

My seat had almost 3,000 informal votes and 82000 real votes. Very safe Liberal seat so it didn't make any difference but I'm still shocked that people forget that it is a privilege to be living in a country where every vote counts :-(

#16 wombatgirl

Posted 09 July 2016 - 10:01 PM

View Posteilca, on 09 July 2016 - 03:13 PM, said:

I witnessed a very public informal vote despite all the help in the world.  An elderly man sat and had his name marked off and then got up to leave without the papers.  A loud conversation from him announced he had done as required, had his name marked off, and he refused for vote for any bloody clown.

Despite the intervention and assistance from the officials he refused to do anything with his papers and the officials then decided they must put the blank papers in the boxes as his record of vote.

Such a shame that his silent protest did not achieve anything.

My understanding is that the Office in Charge of the Polling booth should have been advised that someone had walked off without taking the papers.  I don't believe the officials should have put the papers in the ballot box.

#17 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 09 July 2016 - 10:45 PM

Almost everyone I've spoken to has said their polling booth was understaffed. I tried to help a couple of people but asked them to wait a moment for a staff member to become free, they cracked it and left. The booth I was working at was quite chaotic. It really bothered me. There has to be a better way, and in the meantime more staff would be needed.

#18 MerryMadrigalMadge

Posted 10 July 2016 - 01:34 AM

View Postwombatgirl, on 09 July 2016 - 10:01 PM, said:

My understanding is that the Office in Charge of the Polling booth should have been advised that someone had walked off without taking the papers.  I don't believe the officials should have put the papers in the ballot box.

I had one of those voters - at least he took his and then just plonked them back down on the table and walked out.

We treated his votes as discarded.

#19 laciem

Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:07 AM

The voting system isn't that complicated and was explained to me when I had my name marked off.

If someone cares so little about the process that they won't listen to instructions or work out their intentions before turning up, I don't think it is a huge loss to democracy if their vote is informal.

Obviously this applies to people without extenuating circumstances. We probably could do a lot more to support ESL voters and people with disabilities.

#20 MrsLexiK

Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:23 AM

View Postblue86, on 07 July 2016 - 11:52 AM, said:

If people have tried, and their intention is clear (ie, missed a number, crossed one out and rewrote it) their vote is still counted.

Informals are those with no vote whatsoever - d*ck pics, messages, kebab orders and so on. It can be seen as a form of protest either to the choices presented, or having to vote at all. While I wish everyone would take it seriously, you can't force people.

And I'd rather they complete an informal ballot than a donkey vote. They still count, and are how crazies like the lib dems got a senate seat last time - 1st position matters
In one polling place that I know of it was a dead tie after first preference the way the ballot paper was written meant that out of the 180 donkey votes it helped keep the current candidate in. The way it was written meant that those voting 1-4 would have been 99.9% of donkey.

#21 Soontobegran

Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:37 AM

View PostTinFeralCat, on 07 July 2016 - 11:44 AM, said:

With the high amount of informal votes, do you think it is worth having some sort of check system set up in in the polling booth?

While I don't agree with it, I am not trying to force those who deliberately informally voted to change their ways, but more a check to make sure those who are trying to vote are getting it right.

It just surprises me that the informal votes are so high and this high percentage is really all deliberate?


It doesn't surprise me this election to be honest.
This was the election where neither major party were worth a vote and therefore some just threw their hands up.

I know some normally very devout voters who voted informal as they did not want a hand in either party getting in.

I don't advocate this however I do sort of get it.

#22 Soontobegran

Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:39 AM

View Postlaciem, on 10 July 2016 - 11:07 AM, said:



Obviously this applies to people without extenuating circumstances. We probably could do a lot more to support ESL voters and people with disabilities.


Our polling place had separate areas for those people with ESL and disabilities. They actually seemed to be well catered for.
I thought this would mean all centres would be the same ?

#23 SplashingRainbows

Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:46 AM

Hahaha! You're in a capital city stbg. Come live regionally for a while.

#24 kadoodle

Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:24 PM

View PostShamelesslyPooks, on 09 July 2016 - 10:45 PM, said:

Almost everyone I've spoken to has said their polling booth was understaffed. I tried to help a couple of people but asked them to wait a moment for a staff member to become free, they cracked it and left. The booth I was working at was quite chaotic. It really bothered me. There has to be a better way, and in the meantime more staff would be needed.

The booth I was OIC in usually has 4 staff. This time we had 3. We were snowed under with divisional votes, and just not enough hands to go around.

#25 MrsLexiK

Posted 10 July 2016 - 01:51 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 10 July 2016 - 11:39 AM, said:




Our polling place had separate areas for those people with ESL and disabilities. They actually seemed to be well catered for.
I thought this would mean all centres would be the same ?
None of that we're I am but it's not very culturally diverse. I suspect the parts closer to the city of the division would have (hopefully) had esl helpers.

View Postkadoodle, on 10 July 2016 - 12:24 PM, said:



The booth I was OIC in usually has 4 staff. This time we had 3. We were snowed under with divisional votes, and just not enough hands to go around.
We easily had 10 staff. I know where my parents were volunteers for a party there was easily more then 10 aec staff. Where I was I think they had to much staff - they were giving the how to vote people tea and coffe and grabbing them snags! Due to the size of the room they could only have so many at tables markets my names etc.




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