Don’t miss out on Marriage Equality

Sophie Austin talks about the upcoming postal vote for same-sex marriage legalisation in Australia, the consequences and how you can be prepared to make a difference.

We’ve all heard about the “plan B” postal vote being rolled out for marriage equality, but what we haven’t heard is that you could be missing out on your chance to have a say.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced fourteen days for electoral voters to make preparations, which is a short time for such a serious issue. That means just a few months until Australia helps decide the fate of same-sex marriage.

And where’s all this being announced? Hidden in the depths of Facebook posts and news articles. Low advocacy and advertising means that those who are not enrolled to vote, or who have not updated their voting details, are missing out on their chance

It has been said that over 250 thousand youth, aged 18 to 24, are missing out on the chance to have their say. This includes Australians who are overseas, citizens without a fixed address and people who turn 18 after September 12th.

That’s 13.3 per cent of possible voters putting a dent in the “fair go” approach.
It is a high possibility that this postal vote will evoke potentially harmful and homophobic conversation toward LGBTQI+ individuals as their rights are assessed by millions, citizens and politicians alike.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball stands by the decision, saying, “we made a commitment to give every Australian a say on same-sex marriage. We will hold a postal vote on this issue asking the same question [as the plebiscite], in which all Australians will have their say.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has profusely disapproved the “new low” of Turnball’s government, recognising the backlash that could come from this bootleg plebiscite.

“I understand that an LGBTI person receiving a receiving a survey with the Australian coat of arms on the corner of the envelope, asking everyone else to decide if you were equal… I wouldn’t blame them if they just threw it in the bin,” Shorten told Parliament.

As the government butts heads,  the nonbinding, non-compulsory survey is set to slip into your mailbox between September 12th and November 7th. To be eligible to vote, Australians must be on the electoral roll, and any changes must be made by the 24th of August.

If you need to enroll or update, you can follow these steps:

  • To enroll, visit the Australian Electoral Commission here.
  • To change your address and update details, visit here.
  • You can also enroll through PDF or by visiting your local Australia Post or AEC office.

If you are affected by any repercussions of this vote, you can seek help or advice at the UON counselling services or online at Reach Out.

 

Photo credit, Flickr, no changes made.