Voting at local, State/Territory and Federal elections is one of the most important ways we can have our say about the future of our local community and our nation.
Australians have had their say about their Federal Government representative. For Victorians and Tasmanians, there is another opportunity later this year to vote in a State election.
Election voting is a classic example of public participation at the EMPOWER level (as defined by the International Association for Public Participation). The goal of an EMPOWER process is “to place final decision making in the hands of the public” and the promise to the public is “we will implement what you decide”.
In community engagement land, we can also design activities that allow for an EMPOWER level of participation.
For some projects engagement may involve:
- Ballots (a community votes for name of a new building)
- Delegated decision-making (a committee decides how will get a community grant)
- Citizens juries (a panel of community members work through a complex issue and provide a solution or recommendation)
Across the country, 17.2 million Australians were enrolled to vote.
Australians could vote by personal attendance at a booth on the day, by post, by pre-poll or by telephone. Telephone voting was enabled for those isolating with COVID-19 (74,255 people), voters with low vision or blind (2,794 people) and those living in the Antarctic (65 people).
Counting is still ongoing from the May 21 Federal election but the ‘turnout’ rate is currently at 89%. Turnout is the number of people who were enrolled to vote that ‘turned up’ to cast a vote via any voting method.
But Anthony Albansese and his Labor government can’t rest easy – even though they have a majority in the Lower House, their primary vote dropped just like that of the Coalition with the big beneficiaries being the Greens and independents. It’s clear that most Australians want action on the climate, integrity and social justice issues. It’s easy to forget the things that matter now in 3 years time (who remembers what the issues were in 2019?). So the challenge for us is to take note now so we can make an informed judgment next time around – will Labor have delivered? Will our climate targets be on track? Will we have an independent integrity commission? Will we be taking better care of our aged, our sick and our homeless?
What can you do?
- Familiarise yourself with your newly elected Federal Government representative. What are their priorities? What are they saying in the media about your local area?
- If you live in Victoria, make sure you and your friends and family are correctly enrolled to vote, for the State election in November this year. Check your details at https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/enrolment/enrol-to-vote.
Federal Election – 21 May 2022
Victorian State Election – 26 November 2022
Tasmanian State Election – Mid-2022 (Not Fixed)
About Jenny Grogan
Jenny, our Social Research Lead, is an experienced social researcher and research analyst with 30 years of work experience in the health and community services sector. Her approach is focused on understanding the needs of clients, what information they “need to know” and what is “nice to know”. With this understanding, she creates and delivers the research program so that decision makers can extract practical insights to inform the decision, or gain a better understanding of the project or topic.