YACSA's Election Day Guide


Where do you vote? What do you bring? How do you fill in the ballot paper? What's a democracy sausage? We've got the answers.


From the moment you arrive, until the moment you leave, here's what to expect and what to do.


  • Step 1: Preparation

Firstly - have you enrolled to vote? Click here to make sure you're enrolled to vote.



If you are not going to be in your electorate, in South Australia, or even if you’re going to be overseas for the election, or if you won't be able to get to a polling booth, click here to find out how you can still vote.



You don't have to bring anything. You're good. They do all the hard work.


  • Step 2: 'How to Vote' forms

The moment you arrive, there will be a bunch of people handing you 'how to vote cards'.

These are recommendations from the parties on how they would like you to vote.

They are NOT mandatory.

Feel free to refuse to take them.

Feel free to use them.

Feel free to throw them away (responsibly).

Feel free to fold them into unique pieces of origami.

But you don't HAVE to do anything with them. 


Bonus YACSA tip:

'How to vote' cards make fantastic paper aeroplanes.


  • Step 3: Queuing

You will enter a queue.

The queue might be very long.

Brace yourself.


Bonus YACSA tip:

We recommend sharing Smashed Avocado stories with people around you to pass the time.


  • Step 4: Ticking your name off

You will walk up to the official person at the desk.

They will cross off your name, give you your ballot papers, and send you on your way to a small, cardboard voting booth.

If you want to make it super speedy, you can show them an ID card with your name and address on it so they can find your name quicker.


Bonus YACSA tip:

There's thousands of people in their book. It might take them a while to find your name. They've had a long day. Be nice to the election person.


  • Step 5: Actually voting

We've got a page that explains how to fill in the ballot paper correctly, and why we have the system we do.

For now, here are the basics:

For the GREEN ballot paper:

  • Put a '1' in the box next to your favourite candidate.

  • Put a '2' next to your second choice.

  • Keep going down until EVERY BOX IS NUMBERED.

  • Note: you can also go reverse, and put the lowest number possible for your least favourite candidate and work your way up.

  • Click here to try an online practice ballot

For the RIDICULOUSLY BIG WHITE ballot paper:

  • Same as above, in that you put a '1' next to your favourite candidate, a '2' for your second favourite, and so on.

  • If you vote 'below the line', you need to mark at least 12 boxes.

  • If you vote 'above the line', you need to number at least six boxes from 1 to 6.

  • However, with both, you are free to mark as many as you like.

  • Click here to try an online practice ballot

If you make a mistake, you can always ask the official for a new sheet.

When you're done, take your ballot papers and put them in the fancy looking box.

Bonus YACSA tip:

Don't graffiti on your ballot papers. There are waaaaaay better ways to express your political views or frustrations - like becoming a YACSA young member! (click here to sign up!)


  • Step 6: Reward yourself

Well done! You have just democracy-ed. (Yes, we made that word up).


It's time to celebrate. 

We recommend grabbing a democracy sausage before you leave (or a gluten free/vegan alternative).

The democracy sausage is a time honoured tradition unique to Australian democracy, where the local sausage sizzle is a vital part of the voting experience - and it helps raise money for the local school/community group.


Bonus YACSA Tip:

Tomato sauce, mustard, onions.

What do you think? Does it make sense? What are your questions, concerns, ideas or opinions?