Election Day 2010! #ausvotes #votebelowtheline

A dedicated thread for election day commentary.

A reminder: for those who have a particular person in mind that they want to put last on the Senate ballot, you can print out a memory jogger “ticket” for voting below the line in the Senate from www.belowtheline.org.au – you can take it into the polling booth with you.

At Vote Below The Line you can check all the preference deals in your State for each party to decide whether you want to follow what they’re recommending (i.e. just put a 1 in a party’s box above the line), or you can use a party preference allocation as a guide for your own customisation of preference allocations, or you can generate your own ticket from scratch that ignores party preferences entirely.

Happy voting!

Categories: parties and factions

Tags: ,

63 replies

  1. I took a moment to check out the bunch of “Independents” whom The Greens have placed lower than the CEC and Fred Nile’s party, but above One Nation – groups D and R.
    * D
    Darrin Hodges – profiled over at slackbastard, is a member of the Australian Protectionist Party, that model themselves on the BNP.
    Nick Folkes – also a member of the APP.
    * R
    David Barker – the ex-Lib HoR candidate for Chifley who was disendorsed because of his racist views expressed on Facebook and his extremist Christian supremacist views expressed everywhere – check out the full horror at “www.davidbarkerforsenate.com” – “Team Barker preferences put the ungodly Greens last”
    S G Zureik – standing on same “Independent Christian group” ticket as David Barker but doesn’t appear to have his/her own website – even Barker’s press releases don’t mention a name.
    Wow – I’m really not sure how “Christian compassion” is supposed to match up with “Conscript Australian Muslims to serve in the Afghan National Police” and “No more mosques or Muslim schools”.

  2. I’m off to Williamstown to hand out How to Votes for Rod Solin (Greens). First time I’ve ever done it. Fear of Abbott, as Cristy says, is high.
    Just checked the news for an embarassing meltdown by the sleepless Abbott, which was what I’d been hoping for, but nada.

  3. I had a last minute attack of civic-mindedness yestarday afternoon, and I’ll now be handing out HTVs for the Greens in Bennelong between 8am and 12noon.
    My afternoon, however, will be devoted to CLEANING ALL THE THINGS, because we’re having some guests over this evening to watch the election on telly. Also, we are having roast lamb.

  4. I’m going to hand out how to votes here in Canberra. There’s a real chance of getting a Greens senator in here so it’s very motivating. I’ll be going down to the National Tally Room tonight to adore Antony Green watch the democratic process.
    Hoping for a sausage sizzle because I’m caked out from yesterday’s RSPCA cupcake fundraiser at work.

    • I’ve got a big family day – it’s my parents’ Golden Wedding anniversary! That combined with my dodgy back has put the kibosh on my original plan to hand out HTVs at our local polling station.
      Looking forward to the sausage sizzle though – that school’s P&C does a blinder.

  5. The sausage sizzle was even better than usual – they’d been to the Continental butcher for Italian style low fat mildly seasoned skinny snags – and the onions were cooked perfectly.
    Cake stall also excellent. Nom nom nom (well, not yet, but shortly).
    Moment of pure sitcom when a bloke tied his pit bull to the fence and while he was tying one end of the leash she slipped the other end and wandered into the polling station.
    Quite a queue, and a few people were complaining about it: the lady standing behind me using an ableist slur to do so that was new to me, viz “shit, this is so remedial” 😦

  6. Helen, I too was hoping for some sort of “Tony does something extremely inappropriate from lack of sleep” but then I remembered he’d said and done inappropriate things all through this campaign and before, so it might make little difference. I couldn’t sleep last night, and I’d read that Libs were ahead in the polls. I got up at 4 and looked at the paper, saw they were in fact still behind and burst into tears of relief. Pleasepleasepleaseplease no Abbott!

  7. tigtog @ 6: I’m not even sure what that woman meant by ‘remedial’ in that context. (I’m not suggesting she didn’t mean it as ableist, it certainly sounds like she did – I just mean I don’t know what she means at all – what is ‘remedial’ about a long queue to vote and why remedial ‘bad’?)

    • Remedial = bad in her lexicon obviously – I don’t think she analyses it further than that. Presumably remedial=bad because only those [insert slur here] disabled people need remedial anything, and people with disabilities getting something that takes putative resources away from her family makes them bad.
      I’ve also redacted my paraphrase of her above to remove the “shit” because I’ve realised that she didn’t say that at all – she probably thinks that using “remedial” instead of saying “bullshit” makes her polite and “classy”.

  8. 😦 Yeah, super classy.
    Speaking of super classy: a few friends and I were having a discussion about Abbott’s words and not understanding how people could hear them and still vote for him.
    Along wanders Random Dude to say ‘You know the irony is, if abortion had been more accessible, there is a higher probability you wouldn’t exist’.
    I’m not sure (really I’ve thought about this) HOW it’s ironic, and the only irony I can find is that if there is ANY truth to that absurd statement, it applies equally to him, highlighting the redundancy of his comment. But that’s not what he intended. Grr!

  9. I voted at the Deakin polling booth, but put in an absentee vote in La Trobe. I was going to vote Greens in both houses, until I found out that the local lower house Labor candidate was progressive and a feminist.
    I did notice two things about the LibNats at the polling booth I went to:
    a) They were out in greater numbers, and had more signage up than the ALP
    b) Unlike Labor’s Gillard posters, not one Liberal sign featured an image of Tony Abbott. Not one.

  10. No sausage sizzle! How disappointing is that.
    Accessibility was not great. Access to the building itself was fine – level all the way, big wide doors, plenty of room for mobility devices. But absolutely no accessibility parking, at all.

  11. BTW, that was at Glenunga International High School in the Sturt electorate.

  12. Just got back from my HTV stint. I suspect that the Greens will do quite well in Bennelong. Was very disappointed that my polling station didn’t have a sausage sizzle!

  13. Back chilled to the bone and footsore and determined to start the Must have Sausages and Cake on Election day Party.

  14. No sausage sizzle or cake stall here. Dodgy dodgy accessibility – a very borderline ramp at the entrance (sharpish drop on one side, I bottomed out (just) on the way back out), and a completely unusable one at the exit. Helpful polling place staff, but a little oversolicitous (DO NOT TOUCH MY SHOULDER and ask “Are you ok?” when I’m working out my below the line vote).
    I didn’t like the seated voting booth being away from the standing ones. This may be symbolic, but it’s important to me to vote with everyone else, not tucked away in a separate corner. I realise that manoeuvring room is important, though, so I’m not sure what the best solution is in a small space. Just feel like it could be better than that.
    Other than all those things, I really enjoyed exercising my civic duty! And I didn’t ruin my Senate paper – got it right the first time, thanks to belowtheline.org.au and putting the resulting PDF on my phone.
    Now. Getting down to fucking business. Why are public school buildings in Australia STILL not accessible? Forget election day and portable ramps: school libraries should be accessible to children and parents and staff with disabilities. Fix. This. Australia.

  15. Accessibiltyseemed good at our booth, in that there was a reasonable ramp and the AEC had snaffled the two nearest parking bays for disabled parking. They had fold out, cardboard signs particularly for the job. But the ramp faced away from the hall, so many people with walkers chose to use the stairs to minimise the distance. There were two falls while I was there and some other near misses. It was one of those accessibility things that does not take fatigue or instability into account, or assumes that there will always be an able-bodied assistance human available.

  16. Polling booth in Richmond (Vic) Melbourne electorate.
    Easy experience, queue about 100m long but we had our little man with us riding his scooter amongst the throng so nice man managing the queue took us, and all those with children to the head of the queue (how good was that, never thought that the “baby bonus” was in fact “queue jumping” at the polling booth).
    Took great delight in voting Conroy and Fielding as 59 and 60. Next time I will mark my least favourites first, then exhaust my preferences to where they will count and then just sequence the bulk in the middle in numerical order. Trying to mark 1-60 in a preferred order is just too hard.
    Voting with a scooter riding small person whilst trying to ensure no numeral is missed is not something I would not recommend. Sent him off (with $10.00) to sausage sizzle which he really enjoyed (so far I have seen no change). Local school made heaps but sold few cakes.
    Greens out in force, the smiling, cheerfull “Greenies” said it all. Could not resist telling ALP person that I enjoyed putting 59 beside Conroy. Could not see any Lib person. Lots of Green posters, less ALP, even less Lib and a lone democrat and Sex party poster.

  17. Just back from voting down at Leda primary school in Brand electorate (southern Perth, WA). No sausage sizzle, no cake stall – although the folks living just across the road had decided to hold a garage sale to take advantage of the through traffic. Accessibility is pretty much a non-issue in that there isn’t any. No ramps, lots of steps, including the bog standard two inch step up into the classroom/polling place. What got my goat, though, was the amount of Liberal promotional material all over the place – and I do mean all over the place. Unlike the ACT, where there’s a 50m limit on how close the voter promoters can get to the polling booth, in WA it’s 6 metres… and I have my doubts as to how those six metres are being measured and by whom – there was Liberal party promotional material all over the school area, including one banner on a classroom window right opposite the queueing area, and another running parallel to the potential queue on the wall of the building the polling place was located inside. This makes two consecutive federal elections (in two different electorates) where the Liberal Party’s over-use of advertising materials at the polling place has made me even less inclined to vote for them than I might previously have been.

  18. Our local polling place, church up the road from us, was practically deserted. There was a small contingent of Libs, no ALP and one lone Green handing out HTVs. I said thank you to the Greens fellow for being there. The church has ramps built along side the stairs but the entrance to the room where the polling booths were had 3 steps leading down to it. I wasn’t really paying attention but I think the exit from the room was level, so it was simply a matter of going in via the exit if the steps were a problem.
    We also spent 1.5 hours selling sausage sangers at the kids’ school which is a much busier polling place and in the next electorate over from us. There was a cake stall too but I didn’t end up going over to check it out. They use the school hall which has completely level access and plenty of space and there is disabled parking in the staff car park. Our old library was not accessible at all, it was on the third floor of a building and best case access was from the staff car park, up a small flight of stairs, through the teachers’ resource room and up another few stairs (there’s quite a slope on the grounds), worst case being 3 flights of stairs. We’re getting a new one via the BER and it’s on the ground floor of the building, I’m not sure what the entrance will be like though.

  19. Just voted. I’m in dread of the results of this election. I think I might cry if Abbott gets in. I’ll actually cry.

  20. Voted above the line because attention span of small child just allowed for 1-7 on the green paper and a hurried one on the Senate one. Still putting family first last on the green paper was fun, although it meant that I had to put the Christian Democrats sixth. I was surprised that we got seven candidates at all. It’s pretty much a safe Liberal seat although the Labor and Greens candidates usually poll pretty well it doesn’t often need to go to preferences. Maybe the extras FF, Democrats, Xtian Democrats, Liberal Democrats will split the vote. Alby is 75 now, so could get interesting next election if he doesn’t stand. I expect that the popular State Nationals member (60% primary) will go Federal then. She’s good so that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Also she lives in Yass so we wouldn’t get an announcement for $250K if Abbott is elected, $225K which is being spent in the town where the current member lives, and our electorate is pretty big.

  21. It’s a safe-as-houses Liberal seat here too Mindy (we’re in the Laborest booth of a blue-ribbon seat…) and still we had FF, CDP and One Nation. How can you decide which of those to put last? At least our Lib candidate isn’t a complete arsehole – he is one of the very few who has actually achieved good things on reproductive rights and sexual health in Parliament – so I didn’t have to toss up whether to put him ahead of those three.

  22. I was pretty impressed that the Greens’ HTV here in the ACT identified their flow of Senate preferences. The Liberal HTV dude was one of the most sour-looking chaps I’ve seen in a while, I gotta say. I was unimpressed by lack of sausage sizzle. Accessibility-wise, getting in and out was pretty good; and it was a school gym with the booths against two walls with wide gaps in the corner, and the seated booth on the end of one of the lines.

  23. Our closest booth is very dull: it’s a community hall. No sausage sizzle, very few pamphleteers: the Liberals (this is also a safe Coalition seat) had several people there who were eager to help us with a pram, the Greens had one person, no sign of Labor. It seemed surprisingly quiet for a booth near a major train station and with reasonable parking. I suppose almost everyone must drive to booths.
    The booth was not listed as accessible at all: this hall has a short flight of stairs at the entrance. Nevertheless, it had the seat-height table (obviously, still useful for people who, eg, use a cane but can climb some stairs). It didn’t have seating for waiting; we didn’t have to queue but the queue was about six people when we left. There are seats easily available in that hall: the Blood Bank sets them up when they collect there.
    We traded off the baby while voting below the line.

  24. And the ABC commentary has started, and the pitch is very much “… who knows?”

    • At the moment, the ABC Election Live page reckons seats won are at 63 Labor to 50 Coalition, based on 26.9% of votes counted. Can Labor get the necessary 76?
      Maxine McKew looks to have lost Bennelong, which I always thought would happen once I heard John Alexander was running against her.

  25. I handed out HTV for the Greens in Murrumbateman (Hume, along with Mindy) for a couple of hours. Voting was pretty simple. Accessibility was okay-ish – the ramp is a permanent fixture, I think, though I suspect the corridor was a little tight with the queue filling it up. There was a sausage sizzle, too, along with tea, coffee and devonshire scones, raising money for Pakistan flood survivors, which made me smiley!
    Voting was relatively easy, though it was a little depressing to me that I wound up putting Libs 4th (following CDP (7th), FF (6th) and Lib Dems (5th). It felt far too close to the top for Abbott, and made me think about the asymmetry in leftish/rightish politics. Although, then again, there were people handing out HTVs for Labor, Liberal, Democrats and Greens, so the balance was different there… Although there was a GetUp! person there, she disappeared pretty quickly. It was still damn cold for standing around!
    But now I’m in a state of anxiety and growing depression. I think I’m feeling the same kind of disappointment I felt when Howard slid back in over Tampa: a sense of profound disillusionment about the kind of people I share a community with… 😦 You’d think I’d reconcile to this at some point, but not so far…

  26. At a thoroughly commie-pinko election party in the Liberal heartlands here in Perth. Taking the edge off the stress.
    I may have to shout “Fuuuuck youuuu” to the electorate around me no matter what happens.

  27. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/21/2989651.htm

    LNP reprimanded over dirty tactics in Ryan.

  28. As of right now, Antony Green thinks Andrew Wilkie has a chance in Denison. I’ve always had a bit of a cheer at Wilkie’s political career, particularly since he stood against Howard in Bennelong in ’04.

  29. A hung parliament continues to be the talk of the evening, my husband points out that by-elections will be scary and hard-fought, perhaps depending on how government is formed having the potential to change government in mid-term.

  30. The swing to the Greens is a promising thing, but I’m with @WildlyP, the despondence is teetering on the edge of engulfing me at this point. I just… it flabbergasts me how close this election is.
    The Senate’s definitely looking like a great result for the Greens. Good news that Fielding’s gone, and interestingly in that whilst Conroy’s retained a Senate spot, he came in quite a few count rounds behind is ALP colleague. Sad that FF have picked up a Senator in SA, but the Greens sweep should hopefully be enough to make Day much less influential than Fielding was.

  31. I am not clear on how final the last Senate positions are at this point? SA only is reporting about 36% of the vote counted.

  32. I don’t know what’s more paintful – my period or the current election results.

  33. Oh god. This is so horrible. Antony Green’s prediction of 73 for the coalition and 72 for the ALP, with the make-up of the Independents (especially the ex-NAT QLD ones)… well, yuck… 😦

  34. *offers shoulder to WP*

  35. Voted early this morning, and was under-whelmed at the perimeter of Wattle Grove PS being completely covered with Liberal posters. There was just one somewhat intimidated Labor Lad holding the fort against a good half dozen (aged) Liberals literally bouncing around at 9:00am.
    In a youngish/newish suburb, I think this election is being voted on by old people, or young people who are ‘old people thinkers’.

  36. Paintful?! I meant “painful”. *sobs*

  37. *joins Napalmnacey in heartfelt sobfest*

  38. I am very drunk and very stompy. I might have to give my boyfriend a dirty phone call later just to purge the sad. Just hearing his voice makes me happy.

  39. As much I am terrified of the LNP and their hatred of everything I am, and as much as Young Liberals are even scarier, I’ve been rather unimpressed by the ageist bullshit being thrown at Wyatt Roy, who looks like he may be the new LNP member for Longman. Really not cool.
    Indeed, it looks like that last SA Senate seat is swing back and forth between Libs and FF.
    Y’know, as much as I’ve snarked about folks being all “I’m moving to NZ/Canada/etc.” in the last few elections; I’ve been seriously thinking that I probably would leave if I actually thought there was somewhere I wouldn’t feel similarly unsafe. :/

  40. I am puking. Julia Gillard is now addressing us.

  41. Mary – the only accepted excuse for an MP retiring mid-term in this parliament is going to be death.

  42. The AEC website has Labor ahead by one whole percent. Um, yay?

  43. WTH is going on in the Vic Senate? DLP? WTF?

  44. ALSO: Wilson Tuckey might get kicked out of Parliament. That’s gotta be a win.

    • Grog’s Gamut’s daily election summaries have been must-reads for this campaign, and this one is no exception: Election 2010: Day 36 (or, a hung dog expression).
      A comment from wbb over at LP also thought-provoking:

      Politics hasn’t changed.
      What’s happened is that a new ALP government under the great stress of managing the GFC under the leadership of an eccentric personality, in a new era of media hyper-attention, fractured. The opposition settled, finally, through dumb luck, on the guy with teeth.
      Voters heard the simple message that the government had fucked up. It indeed had fucked up – but not in the way the voters were told by the gut with teeth.
      The government had actually governed very well. The government had only fucked up politically. “Irony” doesn’t begin to describe it.

  45. What gets me is that we STILL don’t know if things are going to go very well or very badly.
    It’s possible that Gillard could form a minority government with the Green from Melbourne and the Independents — they could agree to vote with Labor on matters of supply, but nothing else. This could raise the standard of actual debate in parliament quite significantly, and it’s just possible that Gillard could see out a three year term this way. Hopefully the postal votes will push Labor over the line so they end up with 73 seats instead of 72 — that would make this secnario much more likely.
    Then, of course Abbott could form the minority governmentment in a similar way. If this happens, however, there is no way that he will see out three years — not with the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate from July 2011. He will probably manage to push a fair bit of Nasty Stuff through before the middle of next year, but after that there would likely be a double dissolution, which I suspect would work against him and result in a Labor victory (particularly if they bring Kevin back as Leader).
    The worst thing that could happen, IMO, is that no government is formed at all, an we have to go to another election very soon — I suspect that this would result in the Coalition forming a majority government.
    In other news, I’m really hoping that Maxine McKew ditches Labor now and runs for the Senate for the Greens in the next election.

    • With the possible scenario of a second election if neither ALP nor LNP can form a minority government, would that mean another poll for both Houses, or just for the HoR?
      The last time Australia had a hung parliament a minority government was formed, so there’s no precedent. I presume it’s in the Constitution somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find it yet.

  46. tigtog @ 48, the link to Grog’s Gamut has given me a glimmer of hope. It’s teeny tiny and fragile, but I’m holding it very carefully…

  47. tigtog, my understanding is that the Governor General would ultimately be the person who decides to take the House to a second election, and that she in fact can’t take the Senate to an election at her whim.

  48. Best working day of my life! Also the busiest. The lines were half an hour long all day. Didn’t get a lunch break until 8.30pm. But it was so much fun. I was a marking-off-names person, and then I was in charge of all the senate ballots. The best bit was all the new immigrants, so enthusiastic about voting for the first time. They didn’t kvetch about the worthlessness of the exercise.
    I couldn’t say anything yesterday on Twitter, because of super-secrecy, but my station ended up approx. 60% ALP, 10% informal, 10% Green, 20% Lib/Nat and a bunch of other. Pretty much all the Sex Party senate votes had “yes please!” written underneath. In the informal votes, we had 4 votes for “#1 Bruce”, 16 “Go F*** Yourselves” and just heaps left blank. Don’t know if it’s because people were confused, or just uninspired about everyone. About 10 people filled the ballot out below the line. All in all, we had 2200 people visit our station.
    I have zero respect for the Democratic Labor Party and the Australian Christian Liberals or whatever they’re called. They’re preying on illiterate, ESL and timepoor people by using those names. The DLP were 3rd from the left on the senate ballot in Victoria, while the ALP were over on the far right, so most people would have read “DLP” before “ALP” and might have been confused.
    On sausages: We had a sausage sizzle, with vegie burgers too, though I didn’t get to actually see it. I don’t know who was handing out HTVs.
    Accessibility: Our station was really good in terms of ramps for wheelchairs and scooters, but not for much else. An old man came in with a walking stick, and had nothing to hang on to as he walked to the booth, it was just a big empty space. I was the only one who knew any Auslan, and I don’t speak it that well, though I can read it. We had no training at all for what to do for people with low-vision. And then there was the aforementioned half-hour wait.
    Warning: extended whine about temporary disability ahead!
    The physical pain was the most surprising part. By the end of the day I was pretty much broken in half. Flinging around electoral rolls from Zs to As for 11 hours completely leaves your arms shot. I don’t think a person with physical disabilities could do this job at all. We didn’t get a break because it was so busy, and by 3pm I was shaking uncontrollably, either from coldness, low blood sugar or muscle fatigue. Today my jaw is swollen shut, and every joint is twice the size it should be. Jesus but I wouldn’t want to feel like this every day.

    • TAK, you’re a credit to us all. The physical demands are really quite horrendous – obviously the AEC needs to have more people staffing the stations so that some rest breaks can occur.
      Sounds like having some barley sugar to hand for emergency blood sugar hits might be a good idea for anyone planning to do it in the future, plus maybe a packed lunch cut up into bite-sized bits.

  49. Oh, I forgot to mention that about 50 people mentioned to me that the AEC ads were really helpful. There was a really high informal vote this election, but I don’t think it was because of ballot illiteracy.

  50. Btw, if the speech that Bob Brown gave on the ABC last night turns up on YouTube, please let me know! I’ve tried searching for it, but it doesn’t appear to be up (yet). That was pretty much the only moment of the night that made me really happy.

    • Haven’t seen it anywhere yet, Beppie! I’m sure the Greens themselves will put it up on their YouTube channel sometime next week.
      Meanwhile, here’s how some Korean animated news service saw the election (for those who haven’t already seen it at Possum’s)
      Description from the YouTube page:
      ”The Labor Party swept to victory in 2007, with Kevin Rudd coming into power as Prime Minister. For a while, Rudd was enormously popular, but his plans to institute a new tax on mining companies and his failure to implement the government’s emission trading scheme caused his popularity to plummet. The Labor party rose up against their wounded leader. In the end, he was replaced by his deputy, Julia Gillard. In this weekend’s election, Gillard’s toughest rival is Tony Abbott, leader of the Liberal Party. Abbott promised to be tough on immigration if he becomes Prime Minister. Although polls show Abbott way ahead of Gillard, the Labor/Green party coalition still has more support when counted together. ‘Crocodile Harry’ has predicted a Labor victory. This is the closest election in Australia in 50 years.”
      Further description from tigtog:
      The animation essentially illustrates the above narrative in a sarcastic-satirical way – Rudd floats on a fluffy cloud before he’s pushed off by thunderclouds of mining tax and ETS; his ousting is portrayed as a backstabbing; Abbott in speedos wrestles Gillard in a ring before getting kinghit from behind by a young man in a green t-shirt; the crocodile leaps about threateningly.

  51. Oooh, thanks lauredhel!

  52. @perla, “I voted at the Deakin polling booth, but put in an absentee vote in La Trobe. I was going to vote Greens in both houses, until I found out that the local lower house Labor candidate was progressive and a feminist. ”
    Yup, she’s both those things. We were at uni together, she was always very outspoken on feminist issues.
    @The Amazing Kim, I hear you on being broken in half – I was “booth captain” of our local booth, in charge of putting up paraphenalia and organising the roster of ALP volunteers, I got to the booth at 6am to claim some fence space for bunting before the young Libs got it all (they’re normally obnoxious, but these two turned out to be the Liberal member’s little brother, who was actually really sweet, and his friend who wasn’t actually a Liberal and who spent some time explaining to me why we need a proper renewable energy policy), and then was on my feet from 8am to 6pm and then from 6.15 to about 7.45pm scrutineering. Am still sore.
    And there was no cake stall and no sausage sizzle – fail.
    The booth was accessible, though, it’s quite a recently built church hall, it has disabled parking spots right next to the entrance, a ramp and wide doors. The AEC person in charge told me they are an advertised booth with disabled access.

  53. The election that keeps on giving: not only does Tony Crook (Nat, WA) want to sit on the crossbenches instead of with the Coalition, but 3 new LNP MPs may have their elections challenged because they were still local government councillors when they nominated as candidates for their seats.

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