First Nations Voice to Parliament Election in South Australia

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First Nations Voice to Parliament Election in South Australia

Over 100 candidates will compete in South Australia's first-ever First Nations Voice to Parliament election, with early voting commencing on March 6. The Electoral Commissioner, Mick Sherry, announced the candidates and ballot order at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The state government welcomed the strong candidate response, particularly the high proportion of women. Sherry confirmed that the number of candidates ensures that no one will be elected unopposed. He emphasized the significance of the election as it represents a two-tier system and aims to address the concerns of Indigenous communities who often feel disconnected from decision-makers.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher noted that the election will include candidates from every region, demonstrating the widespread support among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The SA Voice, composed of elected community members, will advise the state government on First Nations issues. Only eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander South Australians can vote, with multiple voting options available, including early voting centers, polling places, and postal ballots.

The Electoral Commissioner expressed optimism about both candidate and voter participation. Sherry highlighted the challenges of ensuring awareness and accessibility in remote areas. Unlike the unsuccessful federal Voice proposal, the SA First Nations Voice has been established through legislation. Although voting concludes on March 16, the counting process will not begin until March 25 due to the need for proportional representation and thorough vote verification.