marriage equality


Never Stop Travelling – Never Stop Equality

Published August 17th, 2017

Update 12/9/2017: Never stop equality, have your say NOW!

How to vote & the deadline:

Ballot papers will be mailed from Tuesday, September 12 however, they won’t all be sent out at once and it could take up to two weeks for forms to arrive in your mailbox. Everyone will have until 6 pm AEST November 7, 2017, to mail their postal vote back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) but the ABS recommends you aim to have it back by October 27. The package containing the survey form will include a reply paid envelope and instructions on how to complete the form.

What question will be on the ballot paper?

Australians will be asked: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Yes or No.

What are the key dates?

September 12 — Ballot packs begin to be sent out to all households. 

October 18 — Deadline to request replacement ballot packs.

October 27 — The date the ABS recommends you return your vote by.

November 7 (6pm AEST) — The final cut off point for votes to be received by the ABS.

November 15 — Results of the survey released.

Ready to have your say on same-sex marriage? Here’s all you need to know about having your say in the postal plebiscite (aka nationwide vote) to give your feedback on the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

First up: enrol

If you’re 18 and over and enrolled to vote, you can have a say in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. About 14 per cent of 18 to 24 years olds are currently not enrolled to vote (which is waaay above the Australian national average of those not enrolled to vote at 5.8 per cent), according to the latest Australian Electoral Commission data, so you’ve got until 6pm on August 24 to make sure you’re on the electoral roll (that’s just one week away!).  

To enrol online, you’ll need some ID like a drivers licence or Australian passport.

If you voted in the last election, you’ll automatically be enrolled to vote, but if you’ve moved, you’ll need to update your address to receive your ballot papers. Head to to get your deets up to date.

Is voting compulsory?

Unlike elections, the postal vote is not compulsory. It’s a voluntary vote, so it’s really important to make sure you’re on the electoral roll by August 24 so you can have your say on same-sex marriage and vote!

What if I’m travelling overseas or on a working holiday during the vote?

If you are travelling overseas for a holiday or just a short trip and plan to return to your usual address in Australia, if you’re already enrolled to vote, you’ll need to submit an overseas notification form on the AEC website. If you’re not enrolled and already overseas, you’ll have to complete the form to enrol to vote for federal elections outside Australia by 6pm on August 24.

On a gap year? If you are registered as an overseas elector, the ABS will post your ballot to you so you can still have your say.

When’s the vote?

Ballot papers will be mailed from September 12, and you’ll have until November 7, 2017 to mail your postal vote back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which is conducting the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. You can’t vote online, so if you want to have your say, you’ll need to do snail mail, soz.

What happens next?

The final result from the postal vote is expected by November 15, 2017. If it’s a ‘yes’ vote, a private member’s bill (or a proposed amendment to the law) will be introduced to the house in the final sitting fortnight of 2017 (the last week of November and the first week of December). Members of Parliament will be allowed a free vote, and the same-sex marriage plebiscite would be passed for amendments to the current marriage act. If the postal plebiscite returns a ‘no’ vote, then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said no bill will proceed.

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