Australia Election 2013: 'Make sure your vote counts'-- Australian Election Commission

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By Sunny Peter | September 6, 2013 5:11 PM EST

Calling on voters to make sure their vote on Saturday's federal election counts, the Australian Election Commission issued a statement on Thursday, asking voters to ensure they fill in their ballot papers correctly. In the statement the commission outlined it effort to ensure success of the federal elections.

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Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said people will be required to complete two ballot papers, for voting, to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

"Your vote is important, so please be careful when filling in each ballot paper," Mr Killesteyn said in the statement.

"Instructions are provided on the top of each ballot paper, but if you make a mistake, just ask a polling official for a replacement ballot paper and start again."

On the green, House of Representatives ballot paper, voters must number every box in their order of preference, starting at '1' and continuing until they have consecutively numbered all the boxes, the statement said.

On the white, Senate ballot paper, voters have the choice to either mark one box above the line with a '1' for the party or group of their choice, or number every box below the line for each candidate in order of preference.

Killesteyn said each voter has the final say on how they number candidates on the two ballot papers on Saturday.

"While candidate representatives outside polling places may offer you a 'how to vote' card, the final decision rests with you and it is a secret ballot," Killesteyn said.

Polling places will open at 8 am on Saturday and voting will continue through to 6 pm sharp," the statement said

The statement said that early voting will be available on Friday up until 6pm at about 500 early voting locations around Australia.

On election-day, the statement said, polling officials and translated information will be available to assist voters from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

At some locations there will be bilingual polling officials wearing a special badge identifying which language they speak, for voters requiring further assistance.

Australians will be voting on Saturday, Sept 7 in a bitterly contested election to decide between Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition Liberal National Coalition leader Tony Abbott

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