REVEALED: Everything you need to know about the #SSM postal vote

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has today released an in-depth run down, detailing the processes involved in the upcoming postal plebiscite.

The vote gives Australians the chance to have their say on whether or not the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry.

The newly-released step by step guide answers all the important questions of the plebiscite, including who can participate, when the survey forms will be mailed out and when the results will be announced.


Who can participate in the survey?

According to the ABS,  Australians who are enrolled on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll (or those who’ve made a valid request for enrolment) by the end of 24 August 2017, will be eligible to vote.

When should I expect to receive my survey form?

The ABS says an Australian Marriage Law Survey Form will be mailed to every eligible Australian from the week commencing 12 September.

“The package containing the survey form will include a reply paid envelope and instructions on how to complete the survey form.”

Do I have to complete the survey form?

No, completion of the form is voluntary. However, those who choose to not complete the form are encouraged to destroy it by tearing it into two or more parts, the ABS advises.

Processing of survey forms

The survey responses will be processed during the collection period, however results will not be released until 15 November 2017.

Will my response be kept private?

The ABS says it will “keep the identity of all respondents separate from their survey responses at all times.”

“The barcode on the survey form will be used for ‘mark-in’ purposes only and is a single-use, anonymous, code. No person who sees or has any access to any completed forms will know both the name of eligible Australians and the related single-use code.”

ABS advised that all completed surveys will be “securely destroyed within 60 days of the publication of the data collection results.”

Key dates you need to know about:

Thursday, 24 August 2017 – Electoral Roll closes for new enrolments or changes to enrolments.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 – Commencement of mailing of forms and collection period.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 – Requests for replacement material closes (6pm local time).

Friday, 27 October 2017 – The date all eligible Australians will be strongly encouraged to return their form by.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017 (6pm EST) – No responses received after this date will be processed.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 – Statistics released.

Further information on the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey can be found here.