"Can you please explain voting on the voices and the division process?"

Thanks for the question Shaniqua. The Senate and the House of Representatives often need to make decisions. They do this by voting on a question. There are two types of votes in the Australian Parliament; votes on the voices and divisions.


In a vote on the voices the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives asks members of parliament to cast their vote by saying 'aye ' (pronounced ‘I’) or 'no '. The President or Speaker decides which response had more voices and announces the result. If no-one challenges the result, the question is decided. If the result is challenged by more than one member of parliament, a division is called.

At this stage the President or Speaker will ask the Clerk to 'ring the bells '. The bells ring for 4 minutes to allow members of parliament to move to the Senate or House. The bells will be rung for 1 minute if several divisions are being called in a row.

During a division, members of parliament move to the right of the President or Speaker if they agree with the question or to the left if they are voting against the question. The number of people sitting on each side is then counted and their names recorded.

You can find more information on voting in Parliament here and in this House of Representatives InfoSheet.

diagram to help explain Can you please explain voting on the voices and the division process?