Reminder that voters control their own Upper House preferences if voting below the line

Thursday 17 November 2022

For immediate release


Voters are reminded that they can control their own preferences when voting for their Upper House region if they vote below the line this State election.

Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately, acknowledged concern in the community following extensive media coverage today regarding preference deals.

'Negotiating preferences using the group voting ticket (GVT) system is not prohibited under electoral laws,' Mr Gately said, 'However, the ticket only applies if a voter votes above the line on their Upper House ballot paper by numbering a '1' next to their most preferred group.

'You can control where your preferences flow if you vote below the line instead of above the line. To do this, you must number at least 1 to 5 below the line and can continue numbering if you wish.

Mr Gately also noted that following similar community concerns in 2018, a review of the Upper House voting system had been scheduled for consideration by Parliament's Electoral Matters Committee (EMC) prior to the 2022 State election, but that this had been deferred. The design of the Upper House voting system is a matter for Parliament rather than the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

'We welcome the opportunity to provide our feedback and recommendations on the Upper House voting system, and are ready to make a submission should a reforming EMC schedule an inquiry following this election.'

The VEC conducts extensive education programs in priority communities to educate people on how to cast a formal vote. Resources and information, as well as all group voting tickets, can be found at vec.vic.gov.au