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Voters will decide next election result

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 18 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are proud to have reformed the Senate voting system to allow voters to choose their own preferences above the line, and not have to number every box below the line on their ballot papers.

"We have made history this afternoon. We have taken power away from back room operators and given it to voters," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"Standing on the shoulders of Bob Brown and Christine Milne, and with the support of so many people around the country, we're proud to finally deliver this long overdue reform.

"The laws are the result of an 18-month inquiry that attracted hundreds of submissions from the public, which prompted Senators from all parties to agree optional preferential voting had to be adopted before the next election.

"Whenever the next election comes, we can now say that the result in the Senate will be decided by voters, which surely is the primary purpose of an electoral system.

"We are so pleased to have had a rare win for democracy, when too often we are fighting against the slow erosion of our democracy," Senator Di Natale said.

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "The historic Senate voting reforms passed today ensure that the next federal election will more accurately reflect the intent of the voters.

"At the coming election for the first time voters will determine which candidates and parties receive their preferences.

"The Greens have worked for over a decade to ensure that our voting system better reflects the will of voters not a web of backroom preference deals.

"In face of blatant filibustering and criticism from those who wished to retain their power to manipulate the election result, I'm so proud of my colleagues for working through the night to achieve such a worthwhile reform."

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