Voting closes in some Australian states for Indigenous Voice referendum

  • World
  • Saturday, 14 Oct 2023

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are pictured in front of Australian Parliament House, during The Voice referendum in Canberra, Australia, October 14, 2023. REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Voting closed at 6 p.m. local time (0700 GMT) in three of Australia's eastern states and its capital region in a referendum to decide whether to recognise its Indigenous people in the constitution through the establishment of an advisory body to parliament.

The counting of the votes has begun in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory.

Australia's different times zones mean voting continues in West Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Australians are voting 'Yes' or 'No' to a question asking whether they agree to alter the 122-year-old constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, and create an Indigenous body, called the Voice to Parliament, that can provide advice to the government on Indigenous issues.

A poll released on Saturday indicated the 'No' vote is likely to succeed despite a late lift in support for 'Yes'.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Edting by John Mair)

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