Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Part 2—Plebiscite on same-sex marriage

Part 2 Plebiscite on same-sex marriage

   

5   Plebiscite on same-sex marriage

             (1)  The Governor-General may cause a plebiscite to be held in accordance with this Act.

             (2)  The question to be submitted to electors at the plebiscite is “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”.

             (3)  The writ for the plebiscite must be issued within 120 days after the day this Act commences.

Note:          The voting day may be deferred, or voting on voting day may be suspended or adjourned, under section 10, 41A, 42 or 43 of the Referendum Act (which apply because of section 9 of this Act).

6   Result of the plebiscite

             (1)  The result of the plebiscite is in favour of the plebiscite proposal if, disregarding informal ballot-papers, more than 50% of the votes cast in the plebiscite are given in favour of the plebiscite proposal.

             (2)  The result of the plebiscite is not in favour of the plebiscite proposal if, disregarding informal ballot-papers, more than 50% of the votes cast in the plebiscite are given not in favour of the plebiscite proposal.

Note:          Section 93 of the Referendum Act (which applies because of section 9 of this Act) sets out when a ballot-paper is informal.

7   Functions of the Electoral Commission

             (1)  For the purposes of paragraph 7(1)(g) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 , the Electoral Commission has the functions conferred on it in relation to the plebiscite by this Act, and the Referendum Act (as it applies because of section 9 of this Act).

Note:          The Electoral Commission has other functions that relate to this function (see paragraphs 7(1)(b) to (f) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ).

             (2)  The Electoral Commission may perform the function referred to in subsection (1) of this section in conjunction with the electoral authorities of a State, of the Australian Capital Territory or of the Northern Territory.

8   No offence to vote informally

                   To avoid doubt, a person does not commit an offence under the Referendum Act merely because the person’s ballot-paper is informal.

Note 1:       Section 93 of the Referendum Act (which applies because of section 9 of this Act) sets out when a ballot-paper is informal.

Note 2:       A person may commit an offence if the person fails to vote at the plebiscite (see subsection 45(14) of the Referendum Act, which applies because of section 9 of this Act).