The majority voted to agree with the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.
The Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.
What does this bill do?
The bills digest explains that:
[This bill] constitutes the first response of the Government to the reports of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters from its inquiry into the 2013 Federal Election, particularly in regards to the recommendations to change the Senate voting system. The recommended changes to the Senate electoral system by the Committee followed the election of senators on the basis of very small primary votes, and a perception that the group voting ticket system was being manipulated by some parties to direct preferences in a way that was not consistent with voter expectations.
The bill has three parts:
First, it gets rid of group voting tickets and requires citizens voting 'above the line' to allocate at least six preferences so that their vote will only be counted against the candidates they preferenced and won't go to other parties that they didn't vote for at all (note that that the bill has a savings provision "that allow voters who allocate at least one vote above the line to have their ballot paper count as formal and the preferences counted")
Second, it prohibits an individual from being the registered officer of more than one political party at once
Third, it lets parties to submit a party logo to the AEC to be added to their party registration to be printed on the ballot papers in black and white.
Read more in the bills digest.