The Technology You Need For Election Day

After weeks of often-repetitive campaigning, tomorrow Australians finally get to vote and decide who will run the country for the next three years or so. No matter how you plan to vote, there's handy sites and apps that can make the process easier.

Picture by dmmaus

I'm not going to touch directly here on who you might want to vote for or why. On the technology front, the dominant issues have been internet filtering (which has been comprehensively covered on our sibling site Gizmodo's Fight The Filter campaign) and the question of how to improve broadband access (Labor backs the NBN while the Coalition wants a cheaper but less comprehensive plan. While those issues probably matter more to Lifehacker readers than the average voter, I suspect they're just one element in the tricky question of deciding who will win your vote, and that's a decision each of us need to make individually.

If you want to maximise your impact in the Senate by ticking every box rather than just choosing a pre-defined party ticket, then I can heartily recommend Below The Line, which we've already featured on Lifehacker. I lodged my vote earlier this week (as I'm not in my home state on election day), and found the process much simpler with a pre-printed guide from Below The Line which I'd customised to my own preferences, meaning I could fill out the form without worrying I'd made a mistake or missed a number and invalidated my vote. Yes, it's easier just to put 1 above the line for one party, but this is the one chance you get to directly influence government. I figure it's worth putting in a little extra effort.

If you prefer a more mobile approach, Nick over at Gizmodo recently highlighted an iPhone app that lets you answer a series of questions and then suggests which party most closely matches your needs. I'm not sure I'd want to outsource my thinking to that extent (or pay $1.19 for the privilege).

If you don't know where your nearest polling booth is, just hit this page on the AEC site to find the nearest option. Polling places are open from 8am until 6pm.

Know any other useful tools for making election day easier? Share them in the comments.


    Handheld paper shredder for the handouts. :P

      na mate, its called a taser to get those people who hand out the flyers.

        Be nice! I'm one of those people who hand out the flyers!

        Although they know who they want to vote for there are lots of people who don't know exactly how to do it. The last thing people want is to find out later they've made a mistake on their vote.

    You also need a twitter client, so that you can get most recent #snagvotes updates and see which polling booths near you have sausage sizzles.

    If you're going to brave the often ridiculous lines, you might as well get to enjoy a barbecue.

    Also, how to vote cards can also go to - there's a few interesting ones up there, ranging from clever to completely insane (for the latter end of the spectrum, the Australia First Party seems to more than do the trick).

    Try Election Calculator - 2010 Federal Election - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) for working out impact of a swing - such 2.4% will put Libs in.

    What's wrong with How To Vote cards - many people have no idea how to fill in the forms. They need to be told to number each Rep box and only to put one vote on a Senate. I was a scrutineer and I can tell you my estimate on senate papers for 33% invalid at first glance because people started to number all boxes and stopped etc

    Wahoo! Crows Nest! I go to a TAFE around there! I'm a bit sick off all the Joe Hockey signs though. Interesting that photo was taken in 07 but joe hokies face is still everywhere.

    If you get lost on your way to the polling place, find it here: Election 2010 Push Notifications -

    There's a free iPhone app called Election Helper that is similar to the one mentioned, but is free :)

    Where can i vote for Early voting. The best idea the AEC has ever had.

    Technology you need: DVD player. Video player. Book. Something- ANYTHING - to get the constant election commentary off my TV screen.

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