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Sausage sizzle during Australian election voting
Reuters/Jason Reed
Throw another one on the barbie.
#DEMOCRACYSAUSAGE

Lucky! In Australia, voters are served sausages as a reward for waiting in line on election day

Georgia Frances King
By Georgia Frances King

Contributor

The Australian equivalent of an ”I Voted” sticker isn’t anything you wear on your lapel: It’s a sausage selfie.

Millions of Americans are spending hours today waiting in farcically long lines to vote in today’s US presidential election. They are bored, wet (if you live in the Midwest), and, most likely, hungry. The long lines are just as common in Australia—where compulsory voting is enforced and eligible citizens who don’t show up to a polling booth are fined—but they’re made much, much more enjoyable by an endless parade of sizzling snacks.

Along with a brazen relationship with deadly animals and ice-cold beer, barbecues (or sausage sizzles, as we call them) are a delicious backbone of Australian culture. But contrary to popular belief, the protein of choice to throw on a barbie isn’t a shrimp—it’s a “snag,” which is Aussie for hot dog. Australians take any opportunity we get to throw a couple of links on the grill, and Election Day is no different.

During Australia’s last federal election in July 2016, the popular Twitter hashtags #snagvotes and #democracysausage became almost as popular as the official #ausvotes on voting day. As a reflection on this phenomena, Twitter decided to change its affiliated #ausvotes emoji from a green-and-gold ballot box to a sausage snuggled in a slice of bread.

You could even choose where you wanted to vote based on the quality of their snack options. Election Sausage Sizzle and Democracy Sausage both help voters decide which polling station they want to head to in their electorate based on the array of snacks. In July, the two sites teamed up to share databases and created the regally named Council of Australian Sausage. Think of them as a Yelp for Election Day.

“Many people are keen on the idea of a democracy sausage; it’s just one of those traditions on election day,” Democracy Sausage co-creator Annette Tyler said in a press release. “People are often disappointed if they go to a polling booth and miss their sausage.”

Screenshot/Election Sausage Sizzle
Australian voters can filter their polling stations via sausage sizzles, bake sales, vegetarian options, and more.

Each use official Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) polling-place data to create the maps, and then add details about each polling place’s sausage sizzle—including vegetarian and gluten-free options—as well as other additions such as baked goods. This data is pulled from Facebook and Twitter by tracking #snagvotes and #democracysausage hashtags, and local polling places can also upload details of what’s on offer at their booths.

Proceeds of most sausage sizzles go back to the people flipping the snags. This means that not only do you get fed while waiting in line—you can also help support the school or local organization where you’re casting your vote.

So Americans, take heed: No one makes a good decision when they’re hungry.

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