The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed almost 12.3 million Australians or 77 per cent of eligible voters have now returned their marriage survey forms – up 400,000 from the previous tally.
Alex Greenwich from the 'Yes' Campaign told Hit that high participation rates sent a clear message that Australians were taking the issue seriously and “wanted to get this done” in the name of “fairness and equality”.
“We’re hopeful the postal survey will reflect the will of Australians in support of marriage equality,” he said.
“We do have to wait until November 15 though to find that out.”
Equality Campaign spokesperson Tiernan Brady welcomed the increase and said survey forms that were posted in the next few days still had a good chance of making the deadline.
“The deadline isn’t until the 7th of November, so posting your ballot this week means it still can get there. It’s not too late. Don’t throw it in the bin, put it in the post," he said.
The Equality Campaign’s Shirleene Robinson said voters who were nervous about posting their ballot could also hand in their forms in person up until 4.30pm on November 7 – except for Melbourne, which would be closed due to the Melbourne Cup.
“The centres are located in all the state and territory capitals as well as Geelong and are open between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Their addresses are on the ABS website,” she said.
“We can only guarantee equality by sending a strong yes result to politicians. And that means everyone needs to get their yes vote back to the ABS in whichever way guarantees its arrival before the final deadline of 6pm, November 7.”
The ABS has also advised that Australians using online response forms and the Interactive Voice Response have until 9pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 7th November to register their vote. These are 24-hour, seven-days-a-week services.