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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3273

1974 ELECTIONS

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/1974

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3273

S 1 L? 17 May 1974
1974 ELECTIONS
STomorrow's election will be the biggest ever held in Australia.
There are three ballot papers and record numbers of candidates.
In most States, and especially in New South Wales, the Senate
ballot paper is unusually long.
T All this will make voting arduous for many people.
It will test their care and their patience. I frankly acknowledge,
as I did at the outset of this campaign, the formidable task that
voters will face.
I need hardly stress that the size of the Senate ballot paper
is quite outside the Governmient's control. Record numbers of
Australians have exercised their democratic right to contest
the Senate election. Under the electoral law, voters must
number every square on the ballot paper if their votes are to
be counted. In these circumstances it is all the more important to
exercise' care at the polling booth. This is an election of
supreme importance. We cannot afford a wasted vote.
SI appeal to voters to take their time when voting. Do not
be unduly hurried or hustled. Check that you have numbered every
square in sequence, that no numbers have been repeated or left out.
0 Follow your how-to-vote card exactly.
If you make a mistake it is your right to obtain another
ballot paper and fill it in again. If in doubt about anything,
seek advice from an officer at the polling station.
The Electoral office has responded splendidly to the challenge
presented by this election. It is providing a record number of
booths at the polling stations.
I am satisfied that these arrangements will fully meet the nedc
of voters and keep delays to a minimum.
Every voter has a legal right to vote in the privacy of a booth.
There will be ample booths for this purpose. / 2

if, however, a voter wishes to avoid any delay in queueing
for the use of a booth, he may conmaete his ballot paper anywv. here
in the precincts of the polling station. in doing so he should
be guided by the wishes of electoral officers.
it is important at all timLes to exercise patience and care.
Let us make every vote count. Let this great exercise in
democracy reflect the wishes of a diligent, intelligent and
responsible electorate.
SYDNEY AND CANBERRA
W, 17/ 5/ 74 a

Transcript 3273