So, it has come to this. As I write, the polls will be open in less than 12 hours.
As an AEC official, it is of course my duty to refrain from the public political discourse. However, this I can say – I am proud to live in a country where the pen(cil) is indeed mightier than the sword. Tomorrow’s result, whichever way it swings, will almost certainly be accepted as legitimate. There will be no riots in the streets, no soldiers or policemen terrorising civilians, no tanks standing by to crush dissent. I am blessed to live in a country with a strong liberal democratic tradition; where the ideas of the rule of law and freedom of speech are so strongly rooted that I can take them for granted. I turn up to work tomorrow morning in the knowledge that so many around the world would happily give up their lives for the sake of free and fair elections.
As a Christian, it is also my firm conviction that governments rise and fall according to the will of God. This is, of course, not to say that all governments have a divine seal of approval or that everything done in the name of the state is morally right; but I know that whatever happens – no matter which parties form Government and which form the Opposition – the will of God shall ultimately prevail.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1 (ESV)
This I find reassuring. My hope does not lie in politicians, fallible as they are – it lies in the plans of the Lord. However, that is not to render what we do here on earth entirely insignificant.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
It is thus my prayer that the 14,703,354 electors of the Commonwealth will exercise their duty tomorrow with careful (and where relevant, prayerful!) consideration, and that our leaders – no matter the party from which they come – shall be blessed with wisdom, skill and diligence.
So it’s bedtime for me. Polling is open from 8am to 6pm tomorrow, and remember… number every box (in the House of Representatives, at least!) to make your vote count!
FUN ELECTION FACTS
- Enrolled electors: 14,703,354 (source)
- Election day polling places: 7,133 (source, with abolitions and duplicate locations filtered)
- Pre-poll polling places: 867 (source, with duplicate locations filtered)
- Overseas missions: 106 (including military polling teams) (source)
- Mobile polling locations (hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, remote areas): 2,938 (source, with duplicates removed)
- Antarctic polling stations: 4