ABS issues advice on completing and returning marriage law surveys

The postal survey.
The postal survey.

Over 16 million same-sex marriage postal surveys have been sent to eligible voters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has said.

The ABS said on Monday people should have received their surveys by now. Anyone eligible to participate but who had not received forms should contact it for a replacement.

The ABS also issued advice on survey DOs and DON’Ts.

ABS Deputy Australian Statistician and Taskforce Lead Jonathan Palmer said: “The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is a big logistical process, and we appreciate Australia Post’s support in getting more than 16 million envelopes on their way.” 

Mr Palmer said any eligible Australians who had not yet received their survey materials (for reasons such as an out of date address or being away from home), or anyone with a lost or damaged form, should contact the ABS and request a replacement form.

“The quickest and easiest way to contact us and request a replacement form is via our website. You will be sent a replacement form, and the original form will be made invalid.

“Anyone unable to go online, can visit one of our capital city or regional pick-up locations or call the Information Line on 1800 572 113,” he said.

The replacement survey materials will contain a new survey form, a Reply Paid envelope and instructions on how to complete the form.

Requests for new survey materials close on October 20 at 6pm local time.

Mr Palmer encouraged people to complete and return their form as quickly as possible.

“We’re strongly encouraging people to post their completed surveys back to the ABS by October 27,” he said.

Survey results will be published on the ABS website on November 15.

The ABS DOs and DON’Ts advice is:

“Want to have your say in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey? Great. To ensure your views are heard, the ABS has prepared some straightforward advice on how to receive, complete, and return your survey form.


  • Complete your survey form promptly, and return it right away.
  • Just answer “yes” or “no” by marking one box only on your form.
  • If your Electoral Roll details are out of date. You can provide the ABS with your new address via the online form on the ABS website.
  • If you haven’t yet received your survey, order a replacement form via the ABS online form up until to October 20.


  • Don’t try to sell your form online. It’s illegal.
  • Don’t put photos of your survey form on social media, especially the unique barcode.
  • Don’t open mail that’s not addressed to you, unless the addressee has authorised you to. It’s a crime!
  • Don’t put anything other than your survey form in the reply paid envelope.”

More information at www.marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au