The postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage will use the normal electoral roll so if you voted at the last election and you still live at the same address, you will automatically be enrolled to vote.
If you aren’t on the roll or your details are out of date, you have until August 24 to register with the Australian Electoral Commission.
The vote will be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with ballot papers going to every enrolled Australian from September 12, to be returned by November 7 with a result on November 25.
The vote is not compulsory and will be done entirely through the post – it will not have an online element.
The job of conducting the plebiscite has been handed to the ABS to get around the need for legislation passing parliament, and to potentially head off a court challenge which has already been launched by Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and other same-sex marriage advocates.
Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann said the ABS had the power to conduct the survey, and the government would facilitate an arrangement between the ABS and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to get the job done.
AEC officers will be seconded to the ABS to assist in conducting the plebiscite.
Even if the result is a resounding yes to marriage reform, it’s the parliament that will have the final say on changing the legislation.
If the result indicates Australians want same-sex marriage to be allowed, the parliament will vote on it. If it doesn’t, they won’t.