What’s the difference between a donkey vote and an informal vote?
The main reason that a voter’s ballot won’t be counted is because they’ve filled out the form improperly. Voters may vote informally because they’re apathetic, are only voting to avoid a fine, to protest, or simply because they don’t fully understand the voting process.
And we get it, it can be completely fucking insane.
A Donkey vote is one where you just number candidates from top to bottom, or bottom to top. It is considered a donkey vote when it does not make sense for someone to vote this way.
What defines these votes as donkey votes is the confused preferences. But just because it doesn’t technically make sense to vote like this-
– doesn’t mean that the vote won’t be counted. Which is so counterproductive.
FUN FACT: Political parties used to take advantage of the “top to bottom” approach of donkey voters, so they’d intentionally put forward candidates who’d rank well when listed alphabetically.
Donkey voting isn’t a protest, because it’s still preferential. You’re voting blind, but someone is still getting another vote added to their tally. Yep, donkey votes are still counted, even if the preferences are all over the place.
Essentially, it’s a waste of your time, and the polling official’s time too. Don’t be a dick about it.
An example of a random (donkey) vote:
3 One Nation
Informal votes are even dumber, and even. more. useless. The AEC defines a vote as ‘informal’ “if the ballot paper has not been completed properly. Informal ballot papers are not counted towards any candidate but are set aside.”
That means if you write your name on the ballot, write nothing, draw a dick or a fre$h hot slogan about your opinions without actually numbering the ballot, or even if you tick (instead of number) your intended candidate’s box, you’ve spoiled your vote. These votes can’t be counted because the intention behind them isn’t clear in any way. You might as well have walked in, set the ballot paper on fire, and dropped that into the ballot box. Please don’t do that though, that’s not at all what we’re encouraging.
But it’s true that your vote is valuable, and that Australians are lucky to have the opportunity to cast votes, so please make sure your ballot is valid.