Optional preferential voting should be introduced in Victorian elections, a report says.
Victoria’s upper house MPs want voters to know they’re not local councillors or selling insurance.
They’ve asked to be known as `state senators’, a name that would sit alongside their official title of legislative councillors.
The proposed US-style name is meant to help Victorians understand what the upper house does.
The recommendation was in a report from the Electoral Matters Committee, which found people often confused members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) with local government councillors or MLC Insurance.
“I think more and more people know what the Senate is; I think fewer and fewer people know what the Legislative Council is,” ABC election analyst Antony Green told the committee.
Four MLCs sat on the five person committee.
The report also called for the introduction of optional preferential voting at Victorian elections to increase the number of formal votes.
Victorians voters currently have to number every box for their vote to count.
Optional preferential voting is used in NSW and Queensland and allows voters to number as many boxes as they like.
The committee recommended the election night tally room should be scrapped, but a public broadcast location should be found for Victorians to “celebrate democracy” on the night.
The report, tabled in parliament on Thursday, also supported a two-week early voting period after concerns voters were currently voting up to four weeks before an election, with many policies still to be announced.
The committee said school students should be given civics education to ensure they understood the value of democracy and their role in it.