A new Newspoll has been released and as with all surveys, there’s some good news that fills my spirit with pure joy and a vigor for life itself, and some not so good news that sours the joy in my heart and fills eyes with a single salty tear that will well up in silence before streaming down my left cheek as I whisper “why?” to no one.
Firstly, the good news. According to an article published in The Guardian, 67.5% of those eligible to vote have returned their postal surveys. They could have voted either way, but it’s at least a win for democracy and people having their say. There’s a further 19% saying they “definitely” plan to vote and another 6% saying they “probably will” vote. Hey, maybe their ballots got dumped in a random street.
Whatever way you slice it, there’s generally high engagement with the postal survey. Which means there should be well over 70% engagement with the postal survey by the time it closes on November 7th.
The best news is the yes campaign seems to be ahead, with a lead of 59% to 38%.
But of course, with every piece of good news comes so not so great news. Young people are behind the game in returning their completed ballots.
The youngest group surveyed, 18-34 year olds, have the lowest voter turnout of all age ranges surveyed. With only 57% of those in the age range finding the time to tick a box and pop an envelope in a mailbox. Compared with 74% of over 65s, it’s not great.
Fellow young voters, there was a massive surge in sign ups to the electoral role in our demographic, so why are we falling behind now?!
The odds of the postal vote were stacked against young people from the beginning. Affordable housing being out of our reach means our demographic is made up primarily of renters who move house a lot, making it difficult to keep track of our registered address, up until a few months ago there were nearly 300,000 of us missing from the electoral role and let’s be honest snail mail is a fairly outdated format which is pretty foreign to those under 30ish.
Some have had doubts from the beginning as to whether young people would turn out to vote in a system that feels setup to exclude them.
The lack of turnout by young people is bad news for the yes campaign, because young people are a bunch of bloody lovely people who believe marriage equality is something worth fighting for and statistically vote for yes. With, according to news.com.au, 66% in favour and just 28% against.
So we’re more likely to vote yes, but less likely to vote in the first place. Hey mates, if you want to have your vote count, you have to tick that dang box and wack it in a mailbox.
If you haven’t received your ballot (or you received it but now are struggling to find it as keeping track of every piece of paper in your life is bloody hard) you can sort yourself out with a new one from the ABS website. The postal survey ends on the 7th of November, which is not far away at all. If there was ever a time to show your support for marriage equality, it’s now. Go vote m8.