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In the past  jw sent a letter as to why we don't vote. 

Now it appears our beliefs are not excepted... It was in the news .. 

The fine will be levied against anyone eligible to vote who failed to, regardless of beliefs around compulsory voting, conscious decisions

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In the past  jw sent a letter as to why we don't vote. 
Now it appears our beliefs are not excepted... It was in the news .. 
The fine will be levied against anyone eligible to vote who failed to, regardless of beliefs around compulsory voting, conscious decisions
Do you have any reference for this? I'm interested in reading up on this.

Just Older

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7 minutes ago, TonyWenz said:

Do you have any reference for this? I'm interested in reading up on this.

Just Older emoji856.png
 

This is on the news: (looks like nothing has changed)

 

Despite there being more than 16.3 million people registered to vote in Australia, every vote counts. Failing to cast your vote by 6pm tonight will incur a $20 fine, according to the Australia Electoral Commission.

Given that voting is compulsory in Australia (as of 1924), non-voters are issued with a notice and a fine for failing to meet their legal requirement.

Failing to vote without a valid and sufficient reason is an offence under the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

The options are then limited: pay the fine or provide a valid reason why you failed to vote.

https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/federal-election-2019-what-happens-if-you-dont-vote/news-story/daa05114821daf73288bf0cd422755eb

 

An Apparent Failure to Vote Notice is your opportunity to explain why you didn’t vote.

You must respond to this notice within 28 days.

https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/Voting/WhatIfIDidntVote.html

 

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2 hours ago, tarcamion said:

We can cast a ballot that is blank or add our own king to the list. Many options, including a legal action.

Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk
 

I heard that too 10 years ago.. 

 

You can cast a ballot without written names on it. 

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2 hours ago, tarcamion said:

We can cast a ballot that is blank or add our own king to the list.

What message would a person send to other witnesses seeing him/her going to the voting station?

That reason alone would prevent me from choosing that option.

Just now, Thesauron said:


Do we want it to appear like we are voting? Or do we want to take a clear stand for God’s Kingdom and display neutrality regarding political issues of this current system?

Looks like we have posted similar thoughts simultaneously

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 Providing that would be compulsory I don't think anyone would be surprised seeing you there as they would be aware of that. I can't see any problem if that voting was unacceptable but $20 fine does not seem to be very problematic. We all pay taxes and some of them are used to support the army. Do you feel like sending a bad message? No, because it is compulsory. I made an assumption in my comment that the voting is unavoidable (apparently, it is avoidable though with a proper reason or a small fine as later comments state). I don't think people would give a second thought to that, especially if you had no other option that appearing there.

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On 5/18/2019 at 5:35 AM, tarcamion said:

 Providing that would be compulsory I don't think anyone would be surprised seeing you there as they would be aware of that. I can't see any problem if that voting was unacceptable but $20 fine does not seem to be very problematic. We all pay taxes and some of them are used to support the army. Do you feel like sending a bad message? No, because it is compulsory. I made an assumption in my comment that the voting is unavoidable (apparently, it is avoidable though with a proper reason or a small fine as later comments state). I don't think people would give a second thought to that, especially if you had no other option that appearing there.

Maciej (BTW pozdrowienia z Australii, ja bylem urodzony w Polsce) Best answer is provided in our publication:

 

What, though, of voting in political elections? Of course, in some democratic lands, as many as 50 percent of the population do not turn out to vote on election day. As for Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not interfere with the right of others to vote; neither do they in any way campaign against political elections. They respect and cooperate with the authorities who are duly elected in such elections. (Romans 13:1-7) As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State. (Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 3:16) In making this personal decision, the Witnesses consider a number of factors.


First, Jesus Christ said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) Jehovah’s Witnesses take this principle seriously. Being “no part of the world,” they are neutral in the political affairs of the world.—John 18:36.

 

Second, the apostle Paul referred to himself as an “ambassador” representing Christ to the people of his day. (Ephesians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 5:20) Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ Jesus is now the enthroned King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, and they, like ambassadors, must announce this to the nations. (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 11:15) Ambassadors are expected to be neutral and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries to which they are sent. As representatives of God’s heavenly Kingdom, Jehovah’s Witnesses feel a similar obligation not to interfere in the politics of the countries where they reside.

 

A third factor to consider is that those who have a part in voting a person into office may become responsible for what he does. (Compare 1 Timothy 5:22, The New English Bible.) Christians have to consider carefully whether they want to shoulder that responsibility.

 

Fourth, Jehovah’s Witnesses greatly value their Christian unity. (Colossians 3:14) When religions get involved in politics, the result is often division among their members. In imitation of Jesus Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid becoming involved in politics and thus maintain their Christian unity.—Matthew 12:25; John 6:15; 18:36, 37.

 

Fifth and finally, their keeping out of politics gives Jehovah’s Witnesses freeness of speech to approach people of all political persuasions with the important message of the Kingdom.—Hebrews 10:35.
 

In view of the Scriptural principles outlined above, in many lands Jehovah’s Witnesses make a personal decision not to vote in political elections, and their freedom to make that decision is supported by the law of the land. What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator.

 

W99 11/1

 

 

 


Edited by Dismal_Bliss

Formatted for clarity
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26 minutes ago, New World Explorer said:

What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator.

So it seems there are two choices: 1) not to vote and pay the fine or 2) give an invalid ballot. Both choices are acceptable.

 

The God's Love book, page 213, compares that situation to that of the three Hebrews. Although they absolutely did not join in the nationalistic worship, they did obey and go to the plain of Dura.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, carlos said:

So it seems there are two choices: 1) not to vote and pay the fine or 2) give an invalid ballot. Both choices are acceptable.

 

The God's Love book, page 213, compares that situation to that of the three Hebrews. Although they absolutely did not join in the nationalistic worship, they did obey and go to the plain of Dura.

 

 

 

Third option is to provide an written explanation within 28 days of the day of receiving infringement notice.(to avoid paying fine)

As of today the government accepts religious reasons. ( I am not aware of any changes as indicated in the very first post, as for this would require changing a complex Australian law) 

Few weeks ago the government accepted my religious reason for not voting in local elections. 

 

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I too have never had to pay a fine, and my explanation has always been sufficient.  But today a sister told me that her newly baptised study did have to pay a fine in the same election Greg mentioned (and it was much more than $20) because her explanation was not accepted.  The elders have helped her draft a response in an appeal.  I have never heard of that happening, and it seems she may have been singled out.  Is this perhaps something that will change, as per Rozann's op?  Interesting....

 

BTW, I didn't vote today, so I'm expecting my "Please Explain" letter in the mail soon.

The results are already in - the same government was voted back in.  Not that we really care about this, but it was a surprising result nonetheless.

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https://www.aec.gov.au/about_aec/publications/backgrounders/compulsory-voting.htm

 

This is from the Electoral Commission's Electoral backgrounder:

 

"Without limiting what may constitute a ‘valid and sufficient reason’, subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act, and section 13A of the Referendum Act, provides that “the fact that an elector believes it to be part of his or her religious duty to abstain from voting constitutes a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote.”
In CDPP v Easton [2018] NSWSC 1516, the Supreme Court of New South Wales found that that subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act does not allow for conscientious objection to voting.
In doing so, the Court observed that for subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act to apply, the elector must hold a belief that they have a religious duty to abstain from voting, noting that “it is difficult to see how compulsory voting could continue to be enforced if an elector could rely upon a defence that a moral framework led him or her to believe that it was their duty to abstain from voting.”
In considering subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act, Adams J of the Supreme Court remarked that
…the question is not whether an elector genuinely holds the beliefs but whether such beliefs, can as a matter of law, amount to a “valid and sufficient” reasons for failing to vote. The fact that Mr Easton may have honestly held these beliefs in not the point.”

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6 hours ago, New World Explorer said:

In view of the Scriptural principles outlined above, in many lands Jehovah’s Witnesses make a personal decision not to vote in political elections, and their freedom to make that decision is supported by the law of the land. What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator. W99 11/1

 

1 hour ago, hatcheckgirl said:

This is from the Electoral Commission's Electoral backgrounder:

 

"Without limiting what may constitute a ‘valid and sufficient reason’, subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act, and section 13A of the Referendum Act, provides that “the fact that an elector believes it to be part of his or her religious duty to abstain from voting constitutes a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote.”

 

So, it is possible that, based on the information that it is a "personal" decision that we abstain from voting, the wording of the Electoral Act could be used to deny the exception - since they could say that it is not "part of our religious duty to abstain from voting" ...

 

Lawyers and lawmakers can usually find a way to get ambiguous wording to say what they want while denying it says what you want.

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10 hours ago, Thesauron said:


Do we want it to appear like we are voting? Or do we want to take a clear stand for God’s Kingdom and display neutrality regarding political issues of this current system?

For me if I were back in ozz.... 

I would not appear to be voting.. 

We are neutral therefor.. I would make a stand for Jehovah and would not want to be seen compromising 

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2 hours ago, tuntun said:

Most brothers and sisters in Indonesia take part in general elections to show respect. But they left the ballot papers remain intact ..

Then it goes back to this:

In view of the Scriptural principles outlined above, in many lands Jehovah’s Witnesses make a personal decision not to vote in political elections, and their freedom to make that decision is supported by the law of the land. What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator. W99 11/1

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17 hours ago, Rozannnancarrow said:

regardless of beliefs around compulsory voting, conscious decisions

Just to clarify, as per my post #16, the law does not recognise a "valid and sufficient" excuse not to vote if you have an objection to compulsory voting, or it went against your morals to vote (conscious decisions).

 

The law only recognises a "valid and sufficient" excuse being if the elector can show it is against their religious beliefs.  It is in the law itself: “the fact that an elector believes it to be part of his or her religious duty to abstain from voting constitutes a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote.” subsection 245(14) of the Electoral Act, and section 13A of the Referendum Act.

 

But the problem has arisen (as described by a sister on field service yesterday)  where a newly baptised sister had her reason why she didn't vote denied.  It is at the discretion of the delegate - "What constitutes a ‘valid and sufficient reason’ for failing to vote is, in the first instance, is a matter for the relevant DRO to assess on the merits on each individual case, in accordance with the law as previously interpreted by the courts."

 

It will be interesting if this becomes a trend, where perhaps in the future we are not recognised as a religion and hence our valid and sufficient excuse is inadmissible.

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6 hours ago, Qapla said:

So, it is possible that, based on the information that it is a "personal" decision that we abstain from voting, the wording of the Electoral Act could be used to deny the exception - since they could say that it is not "part of our religious duty to abstain from voting" ...

At this stage we would appeal it, since the delegate assesses the merits of each individual case "in the first instance", and has obviously overstepped the mark of what is a "valid and sufficient reason".  The sister is being helped by the elders to write an appeal, and it does not appear that it will be denied again.

 

But as to the future, well.... we know how this all ends.

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