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

Thanks for the question Shaniqua. The House of Representatives and the Senate often need to make decisions, including on bills. 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 Speaker or President asks members of parliament to cast their vote by saying 'aye ' (pronounced ‘I’) or 'no '. The Speaker or President 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 Speaker or President will ask the Clerk to 'ring the bells '. The bells ring for four minutes to allow members of parliament to move to their chamber, or for one minute if several divisions are being called in a row.

During a division, members of parliament move to either side of their chamber to show how they are voting; to the right of the Speaker or President 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.

More information on voting in the chambers can be found in this Fact Sheet and House of Representatives InfoSheet.

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