To keep up to date with the federal election campaign as we head to the polls to vote on May 21, visit our election hub page. There you'll find analysis, explainers and all the results of our Mamamia Votes survey.
In just under two weeks, millions of Aussies will be heading to the polls with a democracy sausage in hand.
what feels like years weeks of endless campaigning, debates and election promises, we're getting to the pointy end: and we have questions....
Like what even is preferential voting? Why are there two different voting papers? And why is one of them so ridiculously big?
To help you get up to speed before the election on Saturday May 21, we've rounded up every single question you want to know but are too afraid to ask.
Plus, with early voting officially open this week, we wanted to pop in nice and early to explain who can vote before the election, and how you can do it.
Here's your voting 101 guide for the 2022 federal election:
1. How does voting actually... work?
Alright let's start here.
In Australia, we have a preferential voting system.
This means we get to allocate preferences to whichever candidate we like the sounds of.
When you turn up to the polling booths on May 21, you'll be given a green ballot paper for the House of Representatives and a big white paper for the Senate. You have to fill in both.
As Voting Australia explains, the system is good because it means the winning candidate is the most preferred by the entire electorate, voters who support minor parties know their votes will count towards deciding the winner and parties sharing overlapping philosophies can assist each other to win.
But. It's complicated, time-consuming for voters and confusing.
2. How do I fill out the green ballot paper (House of Representatives)?
Before we get into filling out the ballot paper, let's quickly go over what the House of Representatives is.
The House of Reps is the lower house of Parliament where your local representative sits.
These people represent each of Australia's 151 electorates, which are divisions in each state and territory.
For example, Anthony Albanese is the member for Grayndler in NSW and Scott Morrison is the member for Cook in NSW.
You can find out who your local member is, depending on which electorate you live in, here.
To vote for a member of the House of Representatives, you'll need to grab your green ballot paper and write number one in the box next to the candidate who's your first choice. Then fill out numbers two, three, and so on.
This part is very important: You need to fill out number EVERY box on the paper.