About this record
Gathering the results from all the electorates across Australia was a lot more complicated in 1967, without the technology we have today. These records include:
- the Memorandum to the Divisional Returning Officers instructing them how to accurately report on the count of the ballot papers and to record the final result for their electorate
- the tally sheets on which the results from around the country are recorded as the count of all the votes is undertaken.
- Each electorate has an appointed Divisional Returning Officer and it is their responsibility to maintain the Electoral Roll (the register of all those eligible to vote) for their area and to manage the running of the elections and referendums in their electorate—including reporting on the count of the ballot papers after the poll closes.
- The Divisional Returning Officer in this case was required to telephone the New South Wales tally room every 15 minutes with the latest figures from the count of ballot papers. The results from across Australia were recorded and tallied in state and national tally rooms so that the final results could be calculated.
- If you look closely at the tally sheets, you can see that the count is recorded across 4 columns: ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Informal’ and ‘Total’.
- What makes a vote ‘informal’? Section 268 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act (1918) sets out three types of informal votes:
- the ballot paper is not marked at all
- the ballot paper has writing on it that identifies the voter
- in the House of Representatives, the voter has not completed a full preferential vote (setting out their preferences in order).
Need help with your research?
Learn how to interpret primary sources, use our collection and more.