Media release

Referendum 2023 - YES and NO cases to be published on Tuesday

Updated: 14 July 2023

The AEC is today advising Australian voters that the authorised Yes and No cases received for the 2023 referendum will be published on the AEC website on Tuesday 18 July.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said each case will be published in separate, unedited, and unformatted documents, exactly as they have been received by the deadline.

“The deadline for case committees to submit each case is 11:59pm on Monday. Whatever we have received will be published the very next day, in order to provide visibility to voters.”

“Our role here is as a post-box only and this impending raw publication of each authorised case is the first aspect of our independent delivery role.”

“We’ll then get to work to complete the Yes/No case pamphlet for printing and create a range of translated and accessible versions. These will also be on the AEC website as they become available.”

“They’re not our words. Producing alternative versions of each case is a particularly methodical, careful body of work especially noting that some English terms do not have direct translations.”

“It’ll obviously take some time for that careful and important work to be completed.”

A link to the authorised Yes and No cases will be provided via AEC social media channels on Tuesday.

Key facts:

  • The passage of the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023 Bill triggered a 28-day period for written arguments for and against the proposed change to the Constitution to be provided to the AEC.
  • The preparation of the Yes and No cases for the pamphlet is being undertaken by members of Parliament who voted for and against the bill respectively.
  • During this drafting period the AEC has communicated extensively with case committees to outline the deadline for submission, word limit and authorisation requirements that must be met - this has included the offer of a word count validation prior to the submission deadline.
  • Printing and distribution of around 12.5 million copies of the pamphlet must occur at least 14 days before referendum day.
  • The pamphlet is expected to be approximately 20 pages long and each authorised case can be no more than 2000 words. The pamphlet will also include the proposed additional section of the Constitution. It will be published in a booklet together with an AEC Official Guide to participating in the referendum.  
  • The creation of the pamphlet will occur in the coming weeks and be made available on the AEC website in place of the raw publication of cases that will posted on Tuesday. The AEC will also make available translated and alternative versions of the pamphlet available as soon as practicable.

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