Informal Senate Ballot Paper Survey - 2001 Election

Updated: 23 December 2010

Following the 2001 federal election a survey of the Senate informal votes was conducted. A total of 470,961 ballots cast in the Senate election were determined to be informal representing 3.89% of the total Senate papers, a rise of 0.65% from the previous election.

All informal ballot papers for the Senate were categorised into the following 12 categories. The percentages shown are the percentage of each category at a National level.

Blank Ballots. (34.04%) Those papers that were completely blank.
Writing, Slogans, Poetry (7.42%) Those papers that contained slogans, writing, drawings, poetry.
Less than 90% Below the Line. (9.77%) Those ballot papers that were informal Below the Line due to less than 90% of the candidates containing preferences.
First preference only Below the Line. (26.21%) Ballot papers containing only the number '1' Below The Line.
More than one number 1 Below the Line. (4.95%) Those ballot papers that contained more then one first preference Below the Line.
Large Number of repeating numbers or missing numbers Below the Line. (2.87%) Section 270 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 allows for votes to be admitted as formal with a small number of non-consecutive numbers. These ballot ballots are informal as a result of containing more than the allowed number of non-consecutive numbering.
Use of letters Above the Line. (0.68%) Ballot papers that use lettering above the line.
Combination of Ticks and Crosses above the Line. (2.63%) Ballot papers that use Ticks AND Crosses Above The Line.
No First Preference below the Line (0.40%) Ballot papers that contain no first preference Below The Line.
Ticks and Crosses below the Line (3.19%) Ballot Papers that use Ticks AND Crosses Below The Line
Other (3.59%) Those ballot papers that are informal but can not be categorised into any one of the above.

National/State and Territory Survey Results

National Summary

New South Wales



Western Australia

South Australia


Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory