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
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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