High Court of Australia

Day v Australian Electoral Officer for the State of South Australia [2016] HCA 20

13 May 2016

Case Number: S77/2016 S109/2016


French CJ, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon JJ


Constitutional law – Election of Senators – Validity of provisions of Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) as amended by Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Act 2016 (Cth) – Whether provisions for voting above or below dividing line on ballot paper prescribed more than one method of choosing Senators contrary to s 9 of Constitution – Whether indicating vote for party or group above dividing line contrary to requirement in s 7 of Constitution that Senators be "directly chosen by the people" – Whether prescription of "Droop quota" resulted in effective disenfranchisement – Whether instructions on ballot paper infringed implied freedom of political communication or system of representative government.

Words and phrases – "above the line", "ballot paper", "below the line", "directly chosen by the people", "dividing line", "Droop quota", "free and informed vote", "group voting ticket", "method of choosing senators", "preferential voting".

Constitution – ss 7, 9 and 24.

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) – ss 4(1), 123, 124, 126, 168, 169, 209(1), 210, 214, 214A, 239, 268, 268A, 269, 272 and 273.

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