I had to sign up for a postal vote this election. I have been denied my usual ritual of an early morning run to the voting centre, desperately attempting to beat the rush and not let the fruitless event ruin my entire day (I am registered in a very safe seat). But it also means I get to take my sweet ass time researching and properly filling out my Senate ballot paper.

Proper order is especially serious this year, in light of some stunning preference deals. For example, in Victoria the Liberal Party will preference the ‘anti-multicultural’ Rise Up Australia Party over Labor and the Greens, and in New South Wales the Wikileaks party has (rather stunningly, although they claim “mistakenly”) put the Shooters and Fishers ahead of the Greens. And in my own state Pauline Hanson features prominently in the preferences of several right wing (albeit not overly concerned with immigration or multiculturalism) parties. It may take more time, but at least I will be sure my votes won’t be inadvertently going to a party I do not support.

That being said, the ballot paper I have received is a genuine stunner. This year, voting below the line will require me to preference 82 candidates. As you can see in the picture below, the ballot paper is almost as long as my desk.

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This will probably take a while.