May 18th 2019 is the Federal Election date for Australians. This is where the leaders of Australia will be elected and the future of Australia decided.
In the 2016 Australian Census there were almost 49,000 people who identified as Samoan living in Australia. This may not include the New Zealand born Samoans or even the Australian born Samoans. That is still 49,000 reasons Samoans need to pay attention to the Australian elections.
Do you eat food? Do you drive or use public transport? Do you have children who go to school? Do you play sports? Do you watch TV? Do you go to the doctor? Do you like breathing? These are all areas that the Federal Government has a say in and holds some sort of control.
What to do if you are voting
Enrolments to vote in the 2019 Australian federal elections have closed. If you are registered here are some things that you can do to make a choice that is best for you:
- Know your candidates and what they stand for
- Know who the preferences are for your candidates
- Know how to vote correctly
- Know where to vote, sometimes you can vote early and avoid huge lines
- Talk about the elections, don’t just leave it up to chance or just choose a party based on what you have always done. Sometimes change is a good thing.
What to do if you can’t vote
We know that there are a large number of Samoans who are New Zealand citizens and who are not yet 18 years old and can’t vote in the upcoming elections. You will still be living in Australia so the results will affect your lives too. Here are some things that you can do in the lead up to elections:
- Know who the candidates in your electorate are and what they stand for and their preferences
- Inform registered voters of how to correctly vote
- Volunteer your time to support candidates that you feel will best represent your needs
- Have discussions with family and friends about the election so that there are more open and informed choices being made
Be informed. Get out and vote. Your voice matters.