Early voting to open for Voice to Parliament referendum

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Australians will begin casting their ballots on the proposed Indigenous voice, as early voting in the referendum gets under way.

Early voting will open on Monday in four jurisdictions ahead of the October 14 referendum, which will determine whether an Indigenous voice, which would advise parliament and executive government, will be enshrined in the constitution.

Voters in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia will be eligible to vote on Monday, the first day of early voting.

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Early voting will open up to NSW, the ACT, Queensland and South Australia from Tuesday, due to Monday being a public holiday in those states and territories.

Australian electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said voters should plan ahead for where they are going to cast their vote.

Early voting is beginning in four jurisdictions ahead of the October 14 voice referendum. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Early voting was available for those unable to cast a ballot on October 14.

“Federal referendums are in-person events just like elections. This is the first time the country is coming together in nearly a quarter of a century to have their say on potential constitutional change,” he said.

“If you can vote on October 14, then that’s what you should do.

“However, if your circumstances might prevent you from doing that, then you need to think about the early voting options available and vote according to your circumstances.”

The electoral commission has already started carrying out voting in remote polling locations across the country in preparation for the referendum.

The Indigenous voice referendum will have the largest number of eligible Australians on the electoral roll.

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The electoral commission said 97.7 per cent of eligible Australians are enrolled to vote, an increase of more than 447,000 people from last year’s federal election.

Indigenous enrolment is also at a record high of 94.1 per cent, while 91.4 per cent of Australians aged 18 to 24 are also enrolled.

With less than two weeks before the referendum, the ‘yes’ campaign is behind in the polls.

However, Education Minister Jason Clare said he was still confident of the constitutional change getting over the line.

“This is not a Labor idea, this is not a Liberal idea. This is the idea of Indigenous Australians asking us to work with them, asking us to listen, holding out their hand,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“Australians have got a choice in the few weeks: to shake that hand or slap it away.”

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie said it would be “unprecedented” for the voice to succeed at the poll, due to the lack of bipartisanship on the issue.

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