Labor seeks inquiry into gay postal vote

Labor is asking the upper house to examine how the ABS will collect votes on gay marriage.

Labor wants the Senate to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the same-sex marriage postal ballot.

The opposition on Monday will ask the upper house to examine how the Australian Bureau of Statistics will collect votes; protections against offensive, misleading or intimidating campaigning; rules around advertising and fraud, and whether some voters will be disenfranchised.

Labor senator Louise Pratt, who has a transgender partner, attended a rally in support of same-sex marriage two weeks ago in Perth that provoked hate speech responses.

"Pictures of young people that were at that rally were put on disgusting websites," she told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Liberal senator James Paterson said the government would work with the Senate to ensure the survey was delivered in the best possible way.

"I'm happy to have an inquiry but nothing should stand in the way of the Australian people having their say," he said.

The same-sex marriage debate threatens to dominate the second sitting week of parliament despite government attempts to turn the focus on power prices and Labor's tax policies.

There are concerns around the high number of young people who may not be on the electoral roll or are registered at old addresses and voters who are overseas.

The electoral commission fielded 68,000 inquiries about enrolment last Thursday - well up on its usual 4000 daily average.

The postal survey faces two High Court challenges, which will be heard early in September.