The results will not have the power to change current legislation but could lead parliament to vote on whether or not to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia.
The deadline is November 7th for postal ballots to be returned with results expected on November 25th, the Marriage Act could be amended as quickly as the end of the year if enough support is shown to change the law as it stands.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his support for the ‘Yes’ campaign and a recent poll suggested 70% of those who were certain to vote will vote ‘yes’.
The postal ballot is completely voluntary and the result is not legally binding. Should the result be in favour of allowing same-sex marriage, MPs will then hold a free vote to amend the Marriage Act but they will not be bound to vote in line with the public.
If you are temporarily overseas you can still vote – your postal vote should be with you by 25th September – you can either fill it out before or after your return but votes must be submitted by 6pm 7th November.
If you are living overseas and have a nominated overseas address registered on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll you will receive a letter along with a 16 digit Secure Access Code – your response must be submitted by 25th September however. Alternatively, you ask a ‘trusted person’ to fill out your ballot on your behalf.