The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, provides, at section 245(1), that ‘It shall be the duty of every elector to vote at each election.’
Practically, it is the duty of each enrolled elector to attend a polling place, have their name marked off the certified list of enrolled electors, receive a ballot paper and take it to an individual voting booth, mark it, fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box.
A voter may mark the ballot paper in whatever manner they wish.
To register a valid, or formal vote, all boxes on the ballot paper must be marked using the numbers 1 to 6 (in the case of the Legislative Council election for Hobart on Saturday 5 May). Anything else is an invalid, or informal vote.
If only some, or none, of the candidates are your cup of tea, don’t feel pressured into an unhappy choice – break out the trakkiedaks and GO INFORMAL. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. More ideas are welcome.
1. Rate the candidates on a scale of 1 to 10 for sex appeal, with 1 being ‘Oh my god, is that thing human’ and10 being ‘Your place or mine, honey?’
2. Pretend you’re picking Lotto numbers for the next draw – your chances of a ‘win’ are about the same.
3. Spend a few minutes jotting down a shopping list – make it interesting for the vote counters and include things like handcuffs and long boots and whips and other bondage items.
4. Cover your ballot paper with profanity. Use some French stuff as well, so they’ll know it’s rude, but they’ll need to look it up in a dictionary.
5. Scrawl ‘Call me, it’s urgent!’ across the paper, and then leave a number with one digit missing.
6. Cover the paper in bright red lipstick kisses - or pink, or any colour you fancy.
7. Take a small child with you, armed with coloured pencils, and get them to colour the squares. Or, do it yourself.
8. Take a guess at the scores in your team’s next game, and note them in the boxes in team colours.
9. Mark one box with an ‘X’. Draw a map around it, and a jolly roger, and crush it up a bit to make it look authentic.
10. Ladies, enter your bust measurement in the voting squares, accompanied by a small drawing of your boobs.
11. Gentlemen, do the same thing for your penis.
12. Write down your favourite mouthwatering recipe – something like ‘Triple Chocolate Mocha Delight Cake’. Good recipes are a godsend.
13. If, however, you’re feeling particularly pissed off, leave one key ingredient out of the above recipe. Incomplete recipes are a real bitch.
14. Put fractions in the boxes. After all, part of a vote is better than no vote at all.
15. Add the name of your favourite cartoon character to the list and number them ‘1’. They can’t be any worse than the one-dimensional caricatures of public representatives currently swanning around the Tassie parliament. I like SpongeBob Squarepants – an earnest, hardworking marine sponge. We should be so lucky.
16. Fashion your ballot paper into an origami bird. A ‘bird’ gesture would be good, but if you can’t manage that, a dodo sends a nice message about the ideal future for our current crop of pollies.
17. Give all the candidates nicknames. For example, Rob Valentine could be ‘Mr Sweetheart’, and Dean Winter could be ‘The Iceman’ – use your imagination, and let the vote counters in on the game.
18. Fiddle with the pesky Algebra problem that’s been bugging you. Your mind will probably be in a state of catatonic boredom, and the solution might just sneak in.
19. Count the number of vowels and consonants on the ballot paper, and note the result. It could be useful.
20. Go for simple, basic informality – leave the squares blank, but fill in all the round spaces like ‘o’ and ‘b’ and ‘d’ – works just as well as anything.
21. Grafittitag your ballot paper. Just make sure it’s anonymous, and try to use a mini spray can.
22. Make as many words as you can from the letters in ‘HOBART’, and scribble them on the ballot paper. Challenge your friends.
23. Draw something really bizarre and abstract on the ballot paper, and sign it ‘Picasso’.
24. Number the boxes 1 to 6, but use Roman numerals. If the vote comes down to the wire, your humble ballot paper may the subject of legal proceedings to determine if it’s valid.
25. Tell them what you REALLY think, in 25 words or less. Don’t hold back – they won’t ever know it was you who said those things.
The Subversive Voter is known to the Editors, a requirement for publication of an article; not comments
• Ed: Note Comment 6 That’s wrong, and people really should check their facts before sending in this sort of stuff, and be aware of the differences between systems - even in joke articles. LegCo elections are covered by the state Electoral Act not the Commonwealth.