Early Voting Surges As Australians Participate In Historic Voice Referendum

As the Voice referendum campaign enters its final week, more than 2.2 million Australians have already cast their votes.

On October 14, Australians will be asked to vote on recognising First Nations people in the constitution through establishing a Voice to Parliament. 

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This referendum marks the first of its kind in nearly a quarter of a century, making it a momentous occasion for the nation.

Another 2 million Australians have applied for postal votes, and 92,000 individuals have voted through mobile polling teams deployed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in remote communities, aged care facilities, and correctional facilities.

According to ABC’s poll, the Yes vote stands at an average of 41.2 per cent, while No sets at 58.8 per cent.

The Yes vote is well below the level of support that was recorded in the republic referendum in 1999, which failed with just over 45 per cent of the national vote. 

The AEC is preparing for the final week of the campaign and anticipates a surge in early voting during the last two days before the referendum. 

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Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said that early voting centres will remain open until October 13 for those who are unable to vote at a polling place on referendum day.

“Voting in a referendum is compulsory,” Mr Rogers said.

He also urged those planning to vote via postal ballots to apply and return their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their voices are heard.

“While the office deadline to apply for a postal vote is 6pm on October 11, last-minute applications risk that ballot papers may not arrive in time, despite our best efforts,” he said. 

For those planning to vote in person on October 14, polling places will open at 8am and close at 6pm local time.

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