You will vote for the Member representing the electorate for where you live. One of 93 in NSW.
Elections are decided by a method called optional preferential voting. Voters mark their most preferred candidate (first choice) with a 1. No other preferences are needed but you can continue numbering candidates from your second preferred to your least preferred if you choose. To be elected, a candidate must be preferred by the majority of voters after all other candidates are eliminated.
The preferential voting system means that if you vote for a less popular candidate or a smaller party as your first preference, and they do not win, your vote will still be counted towards electing your member. Find more information about the preferential voting system on this poster.
To vote correctly on the smaller Lower House ballot paper, you need to number every box in the order of your choice.
Elections are decided by a method called proportional representation. You will be voting for the 42 members from all NSW.
To be elected, a candidate must receive a certain proportion of votes, this proportion is called a quota.
If a candidate gets a quota or more, they will be elected. If they do not meet this quota on first preference votes alone, they may get a quota from preferential votes distributed from the candidates with less first preference votes who are eliminated. This process continues into all vacant positions are filled.
Find more information about the proportional representation system on this poster.
You can vote above-the-line or below-the-line but not both.
If you choose to vote above the line:
If you choose to vote below the line:
You can continue numbering more than 15 candidates, but for your vote to be counted, you must number at least 15 boxes.
By voting below the line, you decide your preferences directly.
A ballot paper that has not been filled out correctly is known as an informal vote. Informal votes cannot be counted toward the election result.
A ballot paper can be considered informal when someone:
It is okay if you make a mistake on your ballot paper. You can cross it out and put the correct number next to it.
If you are worried the NSW Election Commission will not be able to understand your corrections, you can return your ballot paper to the election staff and ask for a new one.
If you damage or tear your ballot paper, you can return it to the election staff and ask for a new one.
You can also ask for help to fill out your ballot paper.
It is important to know that only you can decide who you vote for. Other people can suggest who to vote for but cannot force you to vote how they want. While your name will be checked against a roll before you vote, your vote is anonymous and secret after you cast it.
It is your choice if you want to tell other people whom you voted for. No one can force you to tell them, not even government officials. If you feel unsafe or pressured, it is not illegal to lie about who you voted for and no one will ever be able to find out because your vote is secret.