If you don't have your same-sex marriage postal ballot paper by now, here's what to do

Photo: Cameron Spencer/ Getty Images

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sent out the last of 16 million postal ballots for the same-sex marriage survey and says people should have now received their forms by today, September 25.

If your ballot paper hasn’t turned up, or you’ve moved home, and didn’t update the address on the electoral roll, or have a damaged or spoiled form, you can call 1800 572 113 or do it online at www.marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au.

Requests for new survey materials close on Friday, October 20, at 6pm (local time).

ABS deputy Australian statistician, Jonathan Palmer, who’s leading the survey taskforce, said the quickest and easiest way to contact them and request a replacement form is via their website.

“You will be sent a replacement form, and the original form will be made invalid,” he said.

In the fortnight since the bailout began, there have been widespread reports of ballot papers being found dumped or not delivered into letterboxes.

The ABS has issued a series of “DON’Ts” about the survey, saying it was illegal to sell your form online, and a crime to open mail that’s not addressed to you.

The organisation also warned people to not put photos of your survey form on social media, especially the form’s unique barcode, and don’t put anything other than your survey form in the Reply Paid envelope.

You mark either yes or no to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” on the ballot paper, pop the form in the reply paid envelope and mail it back. There’s no need for a stamp. It’s a voluntary survey, so you can choose to not respond.

If ill-health or a disability, such as a visual or hearing impairment, is an issue and makes completing the ballot difficult, you can contact the National Relay Service for help and a secure access code, which can be used to give your response anonymously via an automated telephone service, online form or the ABS assistance team.

Palmer said anyone unable to go online, can call the Information Line on 1800 572 113.

While the survey closes at 6pm on November 7, the ABS is recommending people send it back straight away.

“We’re strongly encouraging people to post their completed surveys back to the ABS by 27 October 2017,” Palmer said.

Results from the survey will be published on the ABS website on 15 November 2017.

More information on the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is available from the ABS here.

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