Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 4 - Elections for the Senate

Right click over the text to activate a context menu for Odgers. (Note: on iPad Safari this function is activated by a finger press and holding down for several seconds.)

The ballot paper

A ballot paper for a Senate election has two parts, each reflecting particular methods of registering a vote. Electors may use only one method.

Where groups of candidates or individual incumbent senators have registered group or individual voting tickets, a series of boxes is printed on the top part of the Senate ballot paper above the candidates' names. If the voter wishes to adopt the registered preference ordering of one of these tickets, a number 1 is placed in the box for the chosen group or incumbent senator and the rest of the ballot paper is left blank.[23]

Alternatively, where the voter wishes to indicate preferences among all Senate candidates on the bottom part of the ballot paper, the voter must place a number 1 in the square opposite the name of the candidate most preferred, and give preference votes for all the remaining candidates by placing the numbers 2, 3, 4 (and so on, as the case requires) in the squares opposite their names so as to indicate an order of preference for them. The top part of the ballot paper is left blank.

  1. (1) Here insert name of a candidate.
  2. (2) Here insert name of a registered political party or composite name of registered political parties if to be printed.
  3. (3) Here insert the name of a registered political party if to be printed.
  4. (4) Here insert name of a registered political party or word 'Independent' if to be printed.
  5. (5) Here insert name of State or Territory and year of election.
  6. (6) Here insert number of vacancies.
  7. (7) Here insert number of candidates.

23. See diagram; for the constitutional validity of this method of voting, see Abbotto v Australian Electoral Commission (1997) 144 ALR 352; Ditchburn v Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland (1999) 165 ALR 147.