FOR some people, the toughest decision made at polling booths during next month’s federal election will be whether to drown their free sausage sandwich in tomato or barbecue sauce.
But for those looking to make a difference, voting correctly is easy.
The federal seat of Calare this year has nine candidates - Billie Kirkland (Katter’s Australia), Ian Lyons (Christian Democratic), Jess Jennings (Labor), Macgregor Ross (independent), Brian Cain (Palmer United), David Mallard (Greens), Anthony Craig (Democrats), Peter Schultze (Australia First) and incumbent John Cobb (Nationals.
Voting for the House of Representatives is relatively simple.
To be valid, a ballot paper must be numbered one through nine in order of preference.
But voting for the Senate is a little more tricky.
It can be as simple as marking a one above the line, or as difficult as numbering one through to 110 below the line.
Calare division returning officer Dimity McKenzie believes just how difficult voting is depends on whether or not you’re happy with the preferences of your preferred party.
Either way, the group voting ticket at each polling both or available online will help out.
“These are available at every polling place, and what happens is if you vote a one above the line it tells you how the preferences fall below the line,” she said, meaning if you vote one for Labor above the line, the below-the-line preferences will follow those of the Labor Party.
It’s the same for the National Party and the likes of the Democrats and Greens.
“Vote one above the line if you’re happy to have your ballot paper follow their preferences,” Mrs McKenzie added.
Mrs McKenzie said most people voted above the line because it kept things simple.
“They’ve chosen their group or party and then this kicks in for their preferences,” she said.
“It’s not really any different from voting to 110, it’s just you’re only voting one mark.”