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A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable voters at Senate elections to determine the order of their party preferences in above the line voting, and for related purposes
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Introduced Senate 09 Dec 2004

Senate Voters' Choice (Preference Allocation) Bill 2004
First Reading

Senate Voters' Choice (Preference Allocation) Bill 2004
First Reading

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2004

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

THE SENATE

Presented and read a first time

Senate Voters' Choice (Preference Allocation) Bill 2004

No. , 2004

(Senator Brown)

A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable voters at Senate elections to determine the order of their party preferences in above the line voting, and for related purposes

Contents

1       Short title 1

2       Commencement 1

3       Object 2

4       Schedule(s) 2

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918       3

A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable voters at Senate elections to determine the order of their party preferences in above the line voting, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1 Short title
        This Act may be cited as the Senate Voters' Choice (Preference Allocation) Act 2004.

2 Commencement
        This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3 Object
        The object of this Act is:

       (a) to enable a voter to allocate preferences to groups of candidates listed above the line; and

       (b) to require a voter to allocate as many preferences as there are groups listed above the line.

4 Schedule(s)
        Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918
1 Subsection 169(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

       (4) Where a request has been made under subsection (1) in respect of candidates in a Senate election, the request may include a further request that the name of the registered political party that endorsed the candidates, or a composite name formed from the registered names of the registered political parties that endorsed the candidates, be printed on the ballot-papers adjacent to the square printed in relation to the group in accordance with section 211.

2 Subsection 210(2)

Omit "has given notice of intention to lodge a statement under", substitute "has a square printed above the name of the candidate in accordance with".

3 Section 211

Repeal the section, substitute:

211 Group voting squares
        Where the names of candidates nominated in a Senate election are included on a ballot paper in a group in a specified order in accordance with a request under paragraph 168(1)(b), a square shall be printed on the ballot-papers for use in the election above the names of those
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candidates.

4 Section 211A

Repeal the section, substitute:

211A Individual ungrouped senators as candidates
       (1) Where:

       (a) a candidate in a Senate election is:

       (i) a Senator; or

       (ii) in the case of an election following a dissolution of the Senate, a person who was, immediately before the dissolution, a Senator; and

       (b) the candidate has not joined in a request under section 168 in relation to the election;

a square shall be printed on the ballot-papers for use in the election above the name of the candidate.

       (2) Where subsection 214(1) requires that the name of a registered political party be printed adjacent to the name of the candidate on the ballot-papers, the name of that party shall also be printed on the ballot-papers adjacent to the square printed on the ballot-papers in relation to that candidate in accordance with subsection (1).

       (3) Where subsection 214(3) requires that the word "Independent" be printed adjacent to the name of the candidate on ballot-papers, the word "Independent" and the name of the candidate must also be printed on the ballot-papers adjacent to the square printed on the ballot-papers in accordance with subsection (1).

5 Paragraphs 214(2)(d) and (e)

Omit "subsection 211(5)" (wherever occurring), substitute "section 211".

6 Section 216

Repeal the section.

7 Subsection 226(3)

Repeal the subsection.

8 Subparagraph 227(8)(a)(i)

Omit ", group voting tickets registered for the purposes of the election".

9 Subsection 239(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

       (2) As an alternative to the voting process outlined in subsection (1), a person may mark his or her ballot-paper by:

       (a) writing the number 1 in a square printed on the ballot-paper under section 211 or section 211A; and

       (b) writing the numbers 2, 3, 4 (and so on, as the case requires) in all other squares printed on the ballot-paper under subsection 211, so as to indicate the order of the person's preference for the groups represented by the various squares.

10 Subsection 239(3)

Repeal the subsection.

11 Subsection 268(1)

Omit all words from "A ballot-paper" to the end of paragraph (b), substitute "A ballot-paper shall (except as otherwise provided by the regulations relating to voting by post) be informal if:

       (a) subject to subsection (2), it is not authenticated by the initials of the presiding officer or by the presence of the official mark;

       (b) subject to section 269 and subsection 270(1), in a Senate election, it has no vote indicated on it, or it does not indicate the voter's first preference for 1 candidate or group and the order of his or her preference for all the remaining candidates or groups;".

12 Subsection 269(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

       (2) If a ballot-paper in a Senate election:

       (a) has also been marked validly in accordance with subsection 239(1); and

       (b) has been marked validly in accordance with subsection 239(2); and

the ballot-paper shall, for the purposes of sections 272 and 273, be deemed not to have been marked in accordance with subsection 239(2).

13 Subsections 269(3) and (4)

Repeal the subsections.

14 Section 270

After "candidate" (wherever occurring), insert "or group".

15 Section 270

After "candidates" (wherever occurring), insert "or groups".

16 Section 272

Repeal the section, substitute:

272 Senate ballot-papers deemed to be marked according to group order
If a voter records a vote on a Senate ballot-paper by means of the process
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outlined in subsection 239(2), the ballot-paper is taken to have recorded on it a first preference vote for the first candidate included in the group marked "1" and subsequent preferences for all other candidates included in that group in the order of the names of the candidates on the ballot-paper, followed by the candidates in the group marked "2" in the order marked on the ballot-paper and so on.

17 Schedule 1, Form E

Repeal the form, substitute:

        A graphic exists here.

SENATE BALLOT PAPER
(5)
ELECTION OF (6) SENATORS

You may vote in one of two ways








Number the boxes from 1 to [here insert number of candidates] in the order of your preference.

Remember.... Number every box to make your vote count.


A

B

C

D


F











A
(2)

B
(2)

C
(2)

D
(2)

E

F
(2)

Ungrouped

By placing the numbers 1 to (7) in the order of your preference.

Remember.... Number every box to make your vote count.









(1)       Here insert name of a candidate.

(2)       Here insert name of a registered political party or composite name of registered political parties if to be printed.

(3)       Here insert the name of a registered political party if to be printed.

(4)       Here insert name of a registered political party or word `Independent' if to be printed.

(5)       Here insert name of State or Territory and year of election.

(6)       Here insert number of vacancies.

(7)       Here insert number of candidates.