How to vote in the postal plebiscite

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The Australian government said ballots could be sent out by 12 September.

Canberra's governing Liberal-National Coalition failed to pass a bill in Parliament that would have secured funding to restore Australia's compulsory plebiscite on November 25, which means the same-sex marriage vote will instead likely take shape as a voluntary voting effort.

Tiernan Brady of Australian Marriage Equality, a group that supports marriage rights for same-sex couples in the country, pointed out to the Washington Blade the parliament has rejected the proposed plebiscite twice.

Same-sex marriage has been a sticking point for the government since the election after promising to take the matter to the people.

Current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is pushing for what is essentially a national census to determine public opinion on same-sex marriage, which equality organizations also oppose. The government will receive the final results on Nov 15.

The ABS, who famously bungled the Census previous year, will work with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and Australia Post to get the job done.

Expect a LOT of noise over the postal vote in the coming days.

The Australian Greens has not yet clarified whether or not it will boycott the plebiscite.

She concluded the speech by stressing that Labor is opposing the plebiscite motion, and called upon the bill to be voted down by the Upper House as it was in November a year ago.

"Let me say, for many children in same-sex couple families and for many young LGBTI kids, this ain't a respectful debate already".

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A postal vote was the "next best option" to a plebiscite, Senator Cormann told ABC this morning.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and marriage equality advocates Shelley Argent and Felicity Marlowe have initiated the court action, having been advised there are constitutional problems with the Australian Bureau of Statistics running the poll and the government paying for it without parliament's approval.

He said that Australia now had an "an worldwide obligation to treat same sex couples equally before the law and particularly to give them equal protection of the law" after the UN's ruling.

Senator Cormann said there were "decisions yet to be made" and "further discussions to be held".

"I mean, in the end, the vote's about as binding as our guarantee to deliver things in two to four business days".

'We will be arguing that by going ahead without the authorisation of parliament the government is acting beyond its power, ' PIAC chief executive Jonathon Hunyor told reporters in Sydney.

Penny Wong has represented South Australian in the Senate since 2002 and is the current Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

"Obviously I will be voting no", he said on Wednesday.

Australian Marriage Equality plans to challenge it in the country's High Court. "If it the vote is in favour we will facilitate the consideration of a private members bill, and that bill we are very confident will pass through the parliament", he said.

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