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The date of the Voice to Parliament referendum to be revealed

  • The date for the Voice to Parliament referendum will be announced on Wednesday.
  • It will be the first referendum held in Australia since 1999.
  • Newspoll has consistently had support for the Voice slipping.
Australians will soon know when they will be asked to vote on an with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese due to make an announcement on Wednesday.
The date favoured for the national vote is 14 October.
The vote will determine whether the Voice,, will be enshrined in the Constitution.

How will the vote on the Voice work?

It’s a simple Yes / No question:

A proposed law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this alteration?

In a federal or state election, you’re given a list of boxes to number.
This time, there’ll be just one box. .

Do I have to vote in the Voice referendum?

Voting is compulsory for eligible Australians aged 18 or over, and those who don’t comply risk being fined.

If you’re not going to be at home on the referendum date, early voting will be open two weeks before polling day. It’ll be available at 500 centres across Australia, though the exact locations are yet to be revealed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

How do I vote if I’m overseas?

There’ll be options if you’re overseas at the time of the referendum.
International voting had been limited by COVID-19, but the AEC says at least 85 overseas voting centres – at places such as embassies and consulates – will be active for this vote.

But unlike the gay marriage plebiscite, which was a very different process, there will be no online voting options available.

How does a referendum pass?

For a referendum to pass, it needs a .
That’s a Yes vote of more than 50 per cent, and a majority in at least four states. The territories don’t count towards the latter.

That’s a high bar, meaning referendums are notoriously difficult to pass.

Source: SBS News


And, on five occasions, the majority of Australians actually voted for a referendum, but it failed because at least three states voted No.

The last time Australians voted Yes in a referendum was 1977, almost half a century ago.

What is the Voice?

The Voice would be a body advising government on issues particularly impacting Indigenous Australians.
It was first called for in the 2017 Uluru Statement From the Heart, which emerged after years of dialogues with Indigenous communities across Australia.
It wouldn’t have the power to veto laws passed by parliament, and the government would not be compelled to enact its advice.
But we’re still not exactly clear on what the Voice will look like.
in a consultation period with Indigenous leaders across Australia after the referendum.

So what does the government want?

While the Coalition has criticised what it calls a lack of detail in the proposal, Labor has given some hints at what it wants the Voice to look like.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney hopes it will focus on four main areas: Health, Education, Housing, Employment.

And Albanese has also revealed some details he says will characterise the Voice.

  • Members would have fixed-term dates to “ensure accountability”
  • It would be gender balanced and include youth members
  • It would draw on representatives from all states and territories
  • It would include representatives from specific remote communities

What are the arguments for and against the Voice?

You may have heard quite a few claims floating around over the past few months, but the main arguments can be distilled into .

The Yes camp believes the Voice:

  • Would improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians by listening to them when policies about them are made
  • Would be protected by the constitution, meaning future governments couldn’t simply remove it
  • Is what Indigenous people have asked for via the Uluru Statement From the Heart

The main No camp believes the Voice:

  • Would divide Australians by race and add race to the constitution, creating different classes of citizenship
  • Would be legally risky, in that it would be open to legal challenge
  • Would not help Indigenous Australians to close the gap and achieve reconciliation

Others oppose the idea for completely different reasons. The Blak Sovereign Movement, represented in parliament by independent senator Lidia Thorpe, argues the Voice would be too powerless to affect meaningful change.

How does the counting work?

Every ballot paper is counted by hand, and counts at every polling place will be conducted twice to confirm the results.
Each part of the count will be open to scrutineers.

Every vote cast throughout the day and the majority of early votes will be counted on polling night.

When will we know the result of the Voice referendum?

The AEC says it may “require up to 13 days after polling night for a result to be known”, but it’s likely to be well before that.
Depending on how decisive the vote is, we may know within hours. If it’s going strongly one way, media can often call races early based on votes already counted.
But like a federal election, it could take days to determine a very close result.

And the AEC can only formally call a result when no other is mathematically possible, which could take a bit longer. For example, the 1999 referendum result was known on the night. But the AEC didn’t formally call it for a fortnight.

Will the Voice referendum pass?

While there are always variations from poll to poll, it’s been a downward trajectory for the Yes camp over the past year.
Newspoll has consistently had support for the Voice slipping and, if the polls are to be believed, the situation looks almost unsalvageable for the Yes camp in Western Australia and Queensland.
If both of those vote against the Voice, the No camp needs just one other state to sink the referendum (regardless of whether most Australians majority vote Yes).
Stay informed on the 2023 Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum from across the SBS Network, including First Nations perspectives through NITV.
Visit the to access articles, videos and podcasts in over 60 languages, or stream the latest news and analysis, docos and entertainment for free, at the .

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/the-date-of-the-voice-to-parliament-referendum-to-be-revealed/xxlpquw7a The date of the Voice to Parliament referendum to be revealed

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