It’s one thing for the Federal Court to dismiss you once. It’s another thing entirely for them to dismiss you twice.
The Federal Court has dismissed a last minute legal bid to not count ticks as “yes” votes in the Voice to Parliament referendum.
This latest bid was backed by old mate Clive Palmer in an attempt to be politically relevant.
The Australian Financial Review has reported that Justice Anthony Besanko announced the court unanimously decided to dismiss the appeal.
The court also ordered Palmer to pay costs.
Justice Besanko said the reasons for their decision would be published in due course, because of a possible appeal in the High Court after the referendum.
Last month the Federal Court dismissed a bid by United Australia Party Senator Ralph Babet to count crosses as a “no” vote.
The Australian Electoral Commission currently counts ticks on ballot papers as a “yes” vote.
This is a long held practice following decades of legal precedent from six prior referendums.
In August, the AEC said “the legal advice provides that for a single referendum question, a clear ‘tick’ should be counted as formal and a ‘cross’ should not.”
So to be clear. ✅= yes, ❎= a big ol’ informal vote.
Australian Associated Press has reported that Palmer and Babet’s Barrister Luke Livingston SC argued ticks should not be counted as a formal vote – but if they are, a cross should also be recognised.
“If the court concludes that the intention to vote ‘yes’ is the only plausible explanation for the use of a tick, we say it would follow that an intention to vote ‘no’ is the only plausible explanation for the use of a cross,” he said.
Livingston also argued “no one can say with sufficient certainty” that a tick means yes.
While this debate has been put to bed for now, you probably should just write yes or no on your ballot paper.