IMPORTANT THE VOICE ISLAND VOTING REFERENDUM INFORMATION Every citizen needs to vote in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum on 14 October, even the newest Australians. Polling places will be open from 8am to 6pm. Early voting will begin about two weeks beforehand. Much like state and federal elections, at the referendum you can vote: • In person on polling day • In person in the two weeks before polling day. The start date in Queensland is Tuesday, October 3. • Via post Online voting will not be available – you can only cast your ballot in person or by post. Voting places on our islands are: Russell Island Recreation Hall; Macleay Island Community Centre Hall; Coochiemudlo Island Community Hall, North Stradbroke Island: Amity Point Community Club, Dunwich State Primary School, Point Lookout Bowls Club. Australians will be asked the following question: A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration? That would see the following chapter added to the Constitution. 129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia: i. there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice; ii. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; iii. the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures. Australia's last referendum was in 1999, meaning it's not just new Australians who will be voting in a referendum for the first time, but anyone under the age of 42 will be newbies too. Voters are asked to write Yes or No on the ballot which asks if people want to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory group in the constitution. A tick or a cross is highly discouraged and may make your vote ineligible. It is recommended you follow the ballot paper instructions to make sure your vote is counted. It's important to have the details of your current address accurate and up to date ahead of the referendum. The simplest way to update your details is via the AEC website, where you can also check your details, but you can fill in a paper form. To maintain your privacy, your enrolment will only be confirmed if the details you enter exactly match those on the electoral roll. Updating your details will also require identification documents, similar to those required for enrolment, such as a driver's licence, Australian passport number, Medicare card number or an Australian citizenship number. You can also fill in physical forms which are available online or from an AEC office, and return them to the AEC office. The AEC may have updated your details if they have obtained your details from another government agency, which the law allows them to do. It is compulsory to vote in the referendum if you are aged 18 or over. If you don't vote, you will receive a letter from the AEC, which will ask you to provide a "valid and sufficient reason" for not voting or pay a fine. For the last Federal Election, that fine was $20.
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