Give public education the best chance when you vote

Kerri Carr

Support candidates who have a strong record of backing public education when voting in the state election on March 28, Federation President Maurie Mulheron says.

“Look very closely at the policies of all candidates, from political parties and independents,” he said.

The NSW voting system is optional preferential (see below), but Mr Mulheron reminds members that by numbering every square you maximise the value of your vote. If you do not number every square the power of your vote terminates at the candidate who receives your lowest preference.

For example, if you vote above the line in the NSW Legislative Council (Upper House) election and only vote for one party/group your vote goes no further. This is unlike the federal Senate election where preferences automatically flow as prescribed by the party/group.

“If you do choose to exhaust your preferences consider putting candidates that are least supportive of public education last,” Mr Mulheron asked.

NSW voting system explained

Legislative Assembly voting

The method of voting in Legislative Assembly elections is optional preferential. This means that to cast a formal vote, the elector must place the number “1” in the square next to their first choice candidate. They have the option to show further preferences. They may number as many or as few squares beyond their first choice candidate as they wish.

Legislative Council election

Voting above the line

If an elector chooses to vote Above The Line they must place the number “1” in the Group Voting square for the group of their choice. The elector may number as many or as few Group Voting squares beyond their first choice group as they wish.

Voting below the line

If an elector chooses to vote Below The Line they must vote for at least 15 candidates by placing the numbers “1” to “15” in the squares next to the candidates in the order of their choice. The elector has the option to show further preferences. They may number as many or as few squares beyond their 15th-choice candidate as they wish.

Source: The Handbook for Parties, Groups, Candidates and Scrutineers at Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Elections: NSW State Election 2015.