Just hours left to register to vote - do it now

Thousands of people have updated their details and now there are literally hours left for you to do so.

As long as you are eligible and submit a valid and complete enrolment to the Australian Electoral Commission by midnight, you will be able to have your say in the same-sex marriage postal survey.

For all the details on what's what with the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, keep scrolling.

And yes, all the details you need to know includes advice on any temptation you may have to include glitter in your reply.

If you’ve already registered that’s fantastic news but please now help us to remind others by sharing this story using the #YourVoiceYourVote. 

DO I NEED TO BE REGISTERED ON THE ELECTORAL ROLL TO VOTE?

Yes. The Australian Bureau of Statistics will oversee the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey using information from the electoral roll.

New voters have until midnight on Thursday, August 24, to enrol.

Existing voters can check their details to make sure they are correct and make changes if necessary.

IS VOTING COMPULSORY?

No. Unlike elections, voting is voluntary and you won't be fined if you don't fill out the form but non-voters are being encouraged to destroy their forms to prevent them from being used by others.

IS IT A POSTAL PLEBISCITE?

No. The Turnbull government failed to get its plebiscite legislation through the Senate so it decided to hold a postal survey which doesn't require legislation to be passed. The result is a postal survey which is non-binding.

WHEN WILL I GET THE FORM?

The ABS will send the forms over a two-week period from September 12.

WHAT QUESTION WILL BE ON THE FORM?

The survey form asks only one question: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"

WHAT IF I'M AWAY DURING THE VOTING PERIOD?

Contact the ABS information line. You can arrange to have the form sent to a nominated address or authorise another person to vote for you. In limited circumstances, voters will be able to lodge a paperless response using a secure access code.

If your survey is lost or damaged you can ask for a replacement up until October 18.

WHEN ARE THE FORMS DUE IN?

The ABS is strongly encouraging voters to return their forms by October 27. Forms received after November 7 will be deemed invalid.

DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR A STAMP?

No. The package containing the survey form will include a reply paid envelope.

WHAT ABOUT MY PRIVACY?

The identity of voters will be kept separate from their survey responses. Each survey has a barcode but it's being used for "mark-in" purposes only and cannot be used to identify voters.

The completed survey material and envelopes will be securely destroyed within 60 days of the publication of the survey results.

BUT I'M A SILENT ELECTOR

About 113,000 silent electors will be sent their forms by the Australian Electoral Commission. Details of silent electors will be kept confidential.

The AEC has established a hotline for silent electors with questions about this process.

CAN I INSERT GLITTER/COMPLAINTS/POLITICAL VIEWS IN MY RESPONSE?

Preferably not. The ABS says: "The survey envelope is designated to be for the survey response only and is not a channel for correspondence, complaints or other communication. Any extraneous material inserted in the envelope with the survey form will be destroyed and, due to processing machinery or possible contamination, may result in the survey form also being destroyed and therefore not processed."

WHEN WILL WE KNOW THE RESULT?

It will be published on the ABS website on November 15.

WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

The result of the survey is non-binding but a "yes" vote will lead to a conscience vote on the issue in Parliament.

If the survey vote is "no", then no vote will take take place in Parliament and that will be the end of the matter.

MPs are not required to vote along party lines or in accordance with the outcome of the survey.

WHAT ABOUT THE HIGH COURT CHALLENGE?

The entire same-sex marriage survey exercise could fall apart depending on the outcome of two High Court challenges, to be heard on September 5 and 6 in Melbourne.

The challenges - one from Australian Marriage Equality and the other from Andrew Wilkie MP - have been brought on similar grounds.

They argue the survey should be dumped because the Turnbull government does not have the authority to use the $122 million in funds for the vote. They also claim the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not have the legal authority to conduct the survey.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop