Fusion's how-to-vote suggestions reflect who we'd prefer to see elected if we aren't successful. Six numbers above the line is the bare minimum, but in the Senate for NSW, we're suggesting seven parties that we thought were better (more aligned with our values) than the alternatives.
The party that we suggest at #7 is not the party we like the least. This is our #7 choice out of a total of 23 parties on the NSW Senate ballot paper.
Let's take a step back:
Upper House vs Lower House
When you vote in a federal election, you get two ballot papers: a small green paper for the House of Representatives (Lower House) and a comically wide white paper for the Senate (Upper House).
- The House of Reps vote elects your local member of parliament (MP). One MP is elected from each of Australia's 151 electorates. You need to number every box on the green House of Reps ballot. See Sahar's suggestions for Reid as an example.
- Each state elects six Senators (usually... it was different in 2016). You need to number at least 6 boxes above the line OR at least 12 boxes below the line on the Senate ballot.
Here's that marble video on how House of Reps and Senate votes are counted in Australia's preferential voting system.
Like Fusion, but disagree with our how-to-vote card?
No problem, you can preference however you wish; just make sure you number at least 6 boxes above the line or 12 below the line on the Senate ballot.
You can number more boxes if you want, and your vote is more powerful the more candidates you number. Say you vote above the line for 6 small parties, but none of them have enough votes to get elected. What then? Your vote will exhaust. That is, no one you gave a preference to gets elected.
Number as many boxes as you can. Give your #1 vote to the party or candidate with the policies you really want, who you truly prefer; then those you mostly agree with, then those you somewhat disagree with, ending with those you completely disagree with. Make sure you include at least one major party to "catch" your vote if your preferred small parties aren't elected.
You control your Senate vote completely
Voters of a certain age will remember the Group Voting Ticket system that forced voters into one of two options for Senate voting: writing "1" above the line only (simple but non-transparent as the party controlled those preferences, and it was hard to find out what those preferences were), or numbering every box below the line (time-consuming and prone to mistakes that invalidated the vote). This system was abolished before the 2016 election.
Since 2016, the only preferences that exist are what the voters put on their ballot paper.
Your vote cannot be used by anyone in a way you don't expect. Parties still hand out how-to-vote cards, but these are just a suggestion.
Click through to your Fusion candidate's page to see their how-to-vote suggestions: https://www.fusionparty.org.au/candidates
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