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Postal poll on same-sex marriage

September 2017

What Is A Postal Plebiscite?

A plebiscite is a direct vote by all Australians on an issue -- in this case, marriage equality -- which doesn't affect the Australian Constitution.

However this poll is a voluntary postal vote. It is not a plebiscite but an optional opinion poll conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The postal vote won't be binding. This means that even if a majority of Australians vote 'yes' in the postal vote, it doesn't ensure same sex marriage will be legalised.

A 'yes' vote will prompt a free vote based on a private members' bill in Parliament, whereas a 'no' vote will not. 

When is the poll?

The voting forms will start being sent out on September 12,

You will have several weeks to return the form to the ABS, with the final cut-off being 6pm on November 7.

To ensure your opinion is counted, return for vote by Friday October 27, to allow Australia Post to get it back by November 7.

Who can vote

Everyone who is registered on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll by August 24 is eligible to vote.

The postal survey is voluntary so whether or not you're correctly enrolled to vote, you won't face penalties for not filling out the form.

What to do?

The form will ask just a single question, and will include a return paid envelope and instructions on how to complete it. So all you have to do is fill it out and post it back -- preferably before October 27.

If you won't be at home during the weeks the forms are sent out, you can elect for the form to be sent to a different address by calling the Australian Marriage Law Survey Information Line.

The information line is 1800 572 113 and it's open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm (local time).