The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed it will provide a paperless option for specific groups of people to vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey.
This will include Australians who are “overseas or who cannot reasonably receive their material via post”.
The ABS said in a statement that the paperless option would also extend to “Australians with blindness, low vision or (another) disability that makes the paper form a more difficult option, or those in residential aged care”.
“Whilst it is expected that nearly all eligible people in Australia will be able to participate using the postal service, the ABS will implement a number of strategies to ensure all eligible Australians have the opportunity to respond to the survey,” it said.
ABS Deputy Australian statistician Jonathan Palmer said the paperless option would be made available via a “secure access code” for an automated telephone service or secure online form, accessible via the ABS Information Line or the body’s website between September 25 to October 20.
As part of its increased accessibility options for the postal vote, the ABS also confirmed it would allow Australians who are unable to access their survey (for example, if they are overseas) or fill out a voting form on their own to elect a trusted person to help them complete it.
Additionally, a move to cater for indigenous Australians and people experiencing homelessness will see public locations in capital cities, regional and remote locations around the country advertised on the ABS website as spots where Australians can “collect and/or return survey materials from or to an ABS officer”.
The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey will ask: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’”
The form will be posted as soon as possible from the week of September 12 and voters are required to respond by 6pm on October 27.
If you haven’t already enrolled to vote or update your details you have until the cut-off at midnight tomorrow, August 24.