On Saturday 19 March 2022 South Australia goes to the polls.
Each voter has to vote for candidates of their choice in the House of Assembly or Lower House and in the Legislative Council or Upper House.
The voting system is different for each House.
House of Assembly or Lower House Voting
In the House of Assembly voting, each of us vote for a local representative for a local electorate. There are 47 local electorates in SA. In Parliament, each electorate is called a seat. The party which wins the majority of seats in the House of Assembly becomes the government. The leader of that party, becomes the Premier. Accordingly, though we do not vote for the Premier directly, we do so indirectly by choosing a lower house candidate.
The House of Assembly ballot or voting paper is green. On the green House of Assembly ballot paper you need to number every square in the order of your choice.
- Write the number 1 in the square next to the candidate who is your first choice
- Write the number 2 next to your second choice
- Continue by placing the numbers 3, 4, 5 and so on until you have a number in EVERY square.
It is critical that you number every square. If you do not your vote will not be counted.
Legislative Council or Upper House Voting
The Legislative Council ballot or voting paper is white.
On the white Legislative Council ballot paper there are 2 ways you can vote:
Either above the red line or below the line but not both.
Vote above the red line:
If you choose to vote above the red line.
- Write the number 1 in the square next to the party or group of candidates which is your first choice.
- You can then write the number 2 next to your second choice, and so on for as many parties or groups of candidates as you like. You do not need to number every square.
- Leave the rest of the ballot paper blank. Do not mark below the red line.
By voting above the red line, your vote will go to the candidates within the group (or groups) you have chosen.
Vote below the red line:
If you choose to vote below the red line you will be voting for individual candidates of your choice:
- Write the number 1 in the square next to the candidate who is your first choice.
- Continue by placing the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in the squares next to the other candidates of your choice until you have chosen a minimum of 12 candidates.
- You may choose to continue numbering more than 12 candidates.
By voting below the red line, you are deciding the order of candidates according to your preferences.
If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Put a line through the mistake and write the correct information beside it, or you can ask an electoral officer for a replacement ballot paper.
If you vote for a minor party like Family First, Australian Family Party or One Nation, your vote is NOT WASTED, as the preferential voting system means that each of your choices counts.