Electors at the March State general election will vote for the first time using ballot papers that are different in several ways.
The Legislative Assembly and Council ballot papers will be printed and distributed as conjoined papers separated by perforations. Electoral officials will separate them at the point of issue. Not only does this create printing and distribution efficiencies, it negates the possibility of an elector being issued with the wrong matching ballot paper.
The format of the Legislative Council ballot paper has also changed. As with the Senate ballot paper, voters will now either cast a ticket vote above the line or a candidate preference vote below the line. Previously Council ballot papers were in a portrait format with a ticket vote to the left of a central line and a candidate preference vote to the right of the line. Unlike the last Senate election, however, voting instructions have not changed. Electors wishing to cast an above the line ticket vote need still only place a “1” in a single box next to the political party, group or candidate of their choice.
A further change is that the large Council ballot papers will be printed in six different colours – one for each of the six Legislative Council regions. Each of the smaller white Legislative Assembly ballot papers will include a corresponding coloured stripe and water mark image.
The six colours assigned to each Legislative Council region are as follows: