In the heart of London is Australias largest polling centre but
the upcoming postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage has some expat
Australians worried theyll miss their chance to have their voice
Australia House, where more than 15,000 ballots were cast in the
2013 election, has had a handful of inquiries from Australians
asking how they can cast their vote in the same-sex marriage
plebiscite, says Prue Loney, communications adviser for the
Australian high commission.
Official arrangements have not been announced, but the
commission is urging those in the UK who want to vote to check
their enrolment and register as overseas voters.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics, which will conduct the
voluntary survey, says it is finalising the details, including how
overseas voters will participate.
I am planning on doing everything in my power to get my say in
this plebiscite, Lucinda Bayly told AAP.
The 24-year-old Queenslander said shes registered as an overseas
elector but finds the process extremely confusing and really
Its making me really nervous that I wont get a say on something
that directly affects my family as well, she said.
Ms Bayly is not the only international Aussie confused.
The Aussies in the UK Facebook page has more than 5000 members
and is typically full of questions about where to live and find
good coffee, but the topic of conversation has turned to the
logistics of postal voting.
Aussies!! Is anyone Qd up on how to vote in the plebiscite for
gay marriage back home??? asked Conor Ireland on the pages
discussion thread, just one of a number of similar posts.
Links to the Australian Electoral Commission and the ABS
websites scatter the page, with many members, like Ms Bayly, urging
people to register as overseas electors so they can be heard.
To participate, voters must be enrolled with the AEC before
Just lodged my application form for a postal vote and
conveniently it will take up to 14 days to process, writes Jabin
Ill be surprised if anyone who wasnt registered previously will
end up getting a say.
For some Australians in the UK, its ignited their sense of
I took myself off the electoral role late last year as I dont
think Ill be returning within six years but now I want to re-enrol
purely so I can vote in the plebiscite, said Jared Verbakel,
Others, like Joel Smith from Melbourne who arrived in the UK in
June, arent going to vote.
I wasnt sure at first if it was mandatory, he said. I