Ask LH: Are There Any Websites That Can Help Me Vote Below The Line?

Ask LH: Are There Any Websites That Can Help Me Vote Below The Line?

Dear Lifehacker, I like to vote below the line for the senate and number all the boxes. This is so I can make sure certain candidates will never get my vote even with the shady preference deals going on. Last election I used Below The Line to plan my ballot in advance so that on the day, all I had to do was transcribe this onto the paper. However, this handy web app doesn’t appear to be available this election. Is there a similarly easy yet functional way to prepare? Thanks, Rick

Vote image via Shutterstock

Dear Rick,

For the uninitiated, Below The Line was an independent website that helped voters orgnanise their preferences for below-the-line votes — it showed you which candidates were running in your area, provided links to their websites and let you drag-and-drop the order to match how you wanted to vote. Sadly, the app’s creator has not had the time to offer the same service this year due to other commitments. As he explains on the Below The Line web page:

The main problem I had is that with the changes to the way the Senate is elected my original ballot editor needed a complete overhaul. The early success made me think I could get it done in time. Then of course work decided to get nuts and I just ran out of time. I apologise greatly for having given people hope that the site would be up for this year’s election.

Bummer. As far as we know, there aren’t any other independently run websites that offer the same breadth of tools as Below The Line. You’re going to have to research the candidates yourself and draw up a list manually. A good place to start is Antony Green’s 2016 Candidates Guide on the ABC website. It has detailed information on electorates, parties and candidates.

We’re also going to throw this one over to our readers. Have you come across any online election tools that help voters to mark their preferences below the line? Let Rick know in the comments!


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  • I heard you don’t have to number all boxes for your ballot to count this election?

    • Sure, but it’s nice to have a tool for those of us that want to vote for more than 6 parties anyway. Helps you to have everything organised as you do your research, and then you won’t forget who of the hundreds of senate candidates you planned to vote for on the day.

      • Well yes, you can vote for more than 6. But you are doing your own preferences either way.

    • As someone who filled in every box last election, as i wanted to get rid of conroy if one wants to fill in every box still, then the sites are very useful.

      Although 80% of the parties are misleadingly/obsurely named at best (Family First, Aus Health Party, MFP to name a few) having a site that helps you know who to vote for based on what you want is useful (unfortunately clueyboter doesnt help there). Most elections i turn up not knowing what 90+% of the people im voting for stand for (this year thats at least 109 of them), so id hate to think what the average voter is doing (blindly voting base on party or random most likely).

      For the house of reps, if your in a safe seat then your vote is essentially useless.

  • This voting ballot is a complete clusterfuck, I just used the Cluey page and it does a reasonable job of sorting my preferences but then looking at the ballot page, all I could see was a lot of work I really don’t want to do. Being in a regional area, my vote does squat in the federal arena anyway.

    • Senators represent the whole state. You are voting for the same senators in RemoteTown QLD/NSW as the people in Brisbane or Sydney respectively.

  • We heard you don’t have to number all boxes for your ballot to count this election?

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