WA Election Guide: What You Need To Know!

Our letterboxes have been stuffed with leaflets and politician’s Facebook and Twitter pages are pumping out the political propaganda. Ah, can you smell the democracy sausages in the air?

Yes, it’s election time!

About 1.6 million Western Australians are due to have their say and vote in this Saturday’s WA State Election.

When and Where Can I Vote?

When: Saturday 11th of March 2017. You can cast your vote anytime between 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Where: If you are unsure where to vote, check the WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) Website and simply enter your suburb to find out your nearest polling place.

Illustration: Don Lindsay

McGowan vs Barnett. Illustration: Don Lindsay

How Do I Vote?

At the polling booth, you will be given two ballot papers. The small white ballot paper is to elect your local lower house representative. You must number every box starting with ‘1’ for your most preferred candidate. Then ‘2’ for your second preferred and so on until ALL the boxes are numbered. The larger coloured ballot paper is for the Legislative Council. The ballot paper is divided by a large black line. Your options are to vote for parties ‘above the line’ or for candidates ‘below the line’.

If you choose to vote for a party above the line: You only have to place a number ‘1’ (your first preference) for your chosen party. The preferences in the party will then be distributed according to the party’s preference.

If you choose to vote for candidates below the line: For your vote to be considered valid, you must number every box. If you make a mistake, just ask an issuing officer for a new ballot paper.

Do not tick or cross. You must number only.

Where are the Sausage Sizzles at?

Ah, the all important democracy sausage. You don’t want to rock up at a polling place and find its the only polling place in the area without a sausage sizzle!

"The Taste of Democracy" Photo: Alex Ellinghausen/Fairfax Media

“The Taste of Democracy!” Photo: Alex Ellinghausen/Fairfax Media

Thanks to the guys at the “Council of Australian Sausage: An Election Sausage Sizzle and Democracy Sausage Joint Initiative“, the WA public have been provided with an extensive map on where to find all the sausages, cakes, coffees, bacon and eggs, beef and gravy rolls and breakfast pancakes to their heart’s desire!

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Let the feasting begin! Photo: democracysausage.org

The “Council of Australian Sausage” have even provided a ranking called “Sausagelytics” to rate which polling place has the best sausages and which have the ‘wurst’. Currently, the Electoral District of Carine is topping the leader board.

What Happens If I Don’t Vote?

If you don’t vote you will be fined $20 or asked to provide a reason why you didn’t vote. If you do not have a valid excuse, you must pay the fine notice or risk the fine increasing on a second notice.

When Will We Know Who’s Won?

Counting of votes usually begins at 6pm and by around 7:30pm it is predicted who has won or if the state is in for a long night of counting and re-counting.

Good Luck to the political parties, let the battle begin!

Photo: Oxford University Press

Vote for the demoracy sausage! Photo: Oxford University Press

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