Voting begins in Australia’s equal marriage postal ballot

Equal marriage activists in Australia (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Voting is underway on equal marriage in Australia, as the first ballots have been mailed out.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has opted to put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people in a contentious and controversial public vote.

The public vote is non-binding and advisory in nature, has no legal power – but the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.

The first-of-its-kind postal vote is now underway, with the first ballots mailed out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Ballots will continue to be sent out to registered voters in the coming days and weeks.

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Polling shows that the Yes campaign has a healthy lead in the vote.

The deadline for the return of ballots is November 7, giving a voting period of nearly two months.

The result of the ballot will be announced at the end of November.

However, the No campaign has cut down the lead by running a successful scaremongering campaign.

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