The Australian Electoral Commission has turned down a request from the Yours and Owls music festival to be a registered place to vote in the referendum.
Yours and Owls will take place rain or shine over the weekend 14-15 October at the University of Wollongong campus. With the referendum voting day being set as October 14, this has created a clash for many festival goers. Yours and Owls has encouraged attendees to “get educated, organised, and have your say.”
Due to concerns regarding festival attendees potentially forgetting to vote in the historical referendum, the Yours and Owls committee had been working with the AEC regarding polling stations at or nearby the event. However, due to the electoral regulations and logistics at the festival, a festival polling station was not possible.
Festival goers have voiced their concerns regarding the clash in dates, discussing the possible options for voting.
“I might just end up doing an early or postal vote to relieve some stress of the already busy day,” said festival enthusiast Minette Kirkegaard.
“Because information about the advisory body is still being released, I hope that in between voting early and the day of the festival I don’t receive information that could change my mind about which way I vote,” Kirkegaard said.
The clash of dates also affects some of the artists performing, and the workers, at the festival, with many such as Vera Blue and Chet Faker being Australian citizens.
To make a postal vote applications are available on the AEC website at Referendum 2023 – Postal voting (aec.gov.au) and will close at 6 pm on Wednesday, October 11. Early Voting is available in NSW from the 3rd of October and on the day polling booths will be operational from 8am on October 14 for those who also wish to claim their ‘democracy sausage sandwich’ when casting their vote.
For festival attendees who are yet to decide on which way to vote, Yours and Owls committee have provided resources such as yes23.com.au, ulurustatement.org/the-statement/view-the-statement and voice.gov.au to assist in voting.