Campaigners for both sides of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum have hit the hustings as early voting opens across the country. Source: The Guardian.
The Yes and No campaigns have less than two weeks to make their case over whether to enshrine an Indigenous advisory body in the constitution.
Early voting opened yesterday in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
Polling stations will open today in New South Wakes, the ACT, Queensland and South Australia, after public holidays yesterday in those parts of the country.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remained optimistic the Voice would get up despite poor standings in published polls, saying some undecided voters cast Yes ballots after talking through the proposal.
“The key to the next fortnight is those one-on-one conversations with people to accept this request of the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” the Mr Albanese told reporters in Melbourne yesterday.
The No campaign used the first day of pre-polling to shore up support in Western Australia, where analysts expect a majority of people to vote against the voice.
The opposition Indigenous Australians spokesperson and prominent No campaigner, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, was in Perth to attend an event.
Nationals leader David Littleproud said many residents in remote and regional communities were not aware of the referendum.
“It’s important the [Australian Electoral Commission] works very hard now to make sure that Australians understand they can go and vote from now on and they can do it early if they please,” he told Sky News.
Australians needed to ensure they were able to cast their ballot on October 14 or consider early voting options if they could not, Australian electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said.