Unlike many other countries in the world, Australian citizens have freedom of choice when we vote in federal elections and referendums. We can secretly, peacefully, and safely vote then privately place our ballot paper into a ballot box.
So discover through Fact sheets 20-22, along with Kanga and Emmy’s adventures into compulsory voting and the secret ballot, all sorts of wonders around the constitutional treasure that is voting including:
- The right to vote (who has the franchise) has changed significantly since the Australian Constitution commenced in 1901, particularly for women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The benefits of living in a system of responsible and representative government
- Can people be excluded from voting today on the basis of race?
- That the Constitution implicitly, and in most circumstances, protects a ‘universal franchise’ for citizens to vote. All Australian citizens should understand what it means to be a citizen. It is a critical part of building our nation.
- Citizens include migrants born overseas who have made the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Most people make the Australian citizenship pledge at a citizenship ceremony. You might hear people call it the ‘pledge of commitment’. Making the pledge is a public commitment to Australia. It means that you are accepting the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.
- That we have compulsory voting because results in elections and referendums are an outcome reflecting the majority of people thus giving that result legitimacy.
- That many democracies across the world have adopted our Australian secret ballot, considering it makes voting the system fairer, and avoids violence, bribery, vote buying and bullying.
Our right to vote is a very valuable treasure in our democracy and vital to helping our nation make important decisions regarding our future.
And finally, if you have got this far through our special program, then our warmest congratulations. We are badging you as an informed voter and to find out what that means watch for our upcoming announcement with the answers to our constitutional treasure hunt clues. And, as well, for you very special informed voters, Emmy and Kanga will soon be taking you on one very last very special adventure. You will join them in the great celebration of being an empowered informed voter. Together we will celebrate our Australian Constitution, our safe and stable Australian system of government, our Australian democracy, our Australian citizenship and our right to vote in referendums and federal elections.