MTV Australia will stop broadcasting for 12 hours to remind young people to enrol to vote ahead of a vote on marriage equality.
MTV made the decision to cease broadcasting on August 24 which is the last day for Australians to update their electoral details or enrol to vote.
Depending on a High Court decision next month, Australia will hold a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on marriage equality.
The survey will ask Australians their opinion on whether the country should legalize same-sex marriage. If the majority of Australians vote ‘yes’, parliament will then vote on relevant legislation.
The postal survey forms will be mailed to eligible Australians on the electoral roll. But people have only until August 24 to update their details or enrol.
In the two weeks since the postal survey was announced the electoral roll increased by more than 36,000. And more than 434,000 people have updated their details.
The electoral roll increased by 36,769 between 8 & 20 August. 434,026 enrolment update transactions also processed in this timeframe #auspol
— AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) August 21, 2017
But disturbingly, half a million people between the ages of 18-39 are missing from the electoral.
So, MTV Australia made the decision stop its regularly scheduled programming August 24 between 6am and 6pm. It wants the blackout to encourage people to enrol or update the details before the midnight deadline.
MTV, MTV Music, MTV Classic and MTV Dance channels stop broadcasting.
They will instead play a special message encouraging people to enrol and feature an LGBTI logo with links to enrol.
The MTV.com.au website will also display an LGBTQ editorial takeover and host links to enrol.
‘As a leading youth entertainment brand that supports inclusiveness and equal rights for all Australians, MTV wants to encourage young Australians to get out and do their part in ensuring their voices are heard in the Australian Marriage Law postal vote,’ said Simon Bates, Head of MTV Asia Pacific in a statement.
MTV is following in the footsteps of some of Australia’s most influential media outlets. Five leading outlets have ‘joined forces to make an almighty noise about a singular issue’.
PEDESTRIAN.TV, Broadsheet, VICE, Junkee and FBi Radio – many of whom have majority young audience – are blacking out their respective social channels. The blackout will happen on August 23 between 5pm and 8pm.
The sites want ‘to make it very clear the time is now for you, the youth of Australia, to take action and enrol or update your details for the upcoming postal vote on marriage equality’.
— PEDESTRIAN.TV (@pedestriandaily) August 22, 2017
The five media outlets said they decided to take this action because marriage equality was an important battle.
‘But marriage equality is perhaps the most important social fight we’ve faced in the last decade, so we’re doing just that,’ they said in a joint statement.
How to enrol or update your details
Australians can enrol to vote here or update their details here.
If you will be outside of Australia anytime between September 7 and November 12, read this information about how you can vote.
People can call the Australian Bureau of Statistics directly on 1800 572 113 to confirm their enrolment and address over the phone. The overseas number is +61 2 6252 5262.