AWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHH HELL YISS.
Those of you absolutely sick and tired of getting shavings all over your hand or writing numbers in non-sharp characters on your ballot papers are in luck, because that shit is about to get a big kick-up-the-pants update that’ll bring the voting process into the dazzling futuristic dream-world of the 1940s.
The Australian Electoral Commission has officially made a submission to a Parliamentary enquiry, moving that voters be given the option to ditch the clearly archaic paper-and-pencil method of voting, in favour of the absolute sick as shit method of paper-and-PEN. WHAT.
The AEC reckons that the simple pencil method is now wildly outdated and clearly for squares, which is part of a stipulation in voting regulations set in 1902; all ballot boxes are currently required to be “furnished with a pencil for the use of voters.” Snore.
But AEC boss Tom Rogers has now officially asked the enquiry to make changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act as technology for reading ballot papers improves. Y’know, meaning they can now read pen ink instead of bare-bones pencil. Or something like that:
“Pens may assist with processes to electronically capture marks from ballot papers, as per the new Senate [ballot] scanning process. The AEC should have the flexibility to provide pens or pencils as the means to vote.”
The reason Australian election officials have hung on to pencils up until now is that they’ve long been considered the cheaper long-term option. In short, they reckon that pens run the risk of drying out between elections. Which means you’ve been using old-ass pencils whenever you’ve been chuckling about reaching 69 on your senate ballot papers.
The shift to pens would also erase fears from conspiracy theorists who cling to the idea of votes being erased from ballot papers.
State and overseas elections are already making the shift to pens, but the AEC’s submission would see that change flow on to the federal big banger as well.
It’s not just a move to pens, either. The AEC’s submission includes a request for flexibility, meaning different colours of pen, not just black, could be allowed.
And y’all know what that means!
Photo: Cole Bennetts/Getty.