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.