Thousands of electors have already cast their votes for this weekend’s local government poll and by close of pre-poll at 6 o’clock tonight nearly 9000 will have done their duty in the Tamworth council area.
The Tamworth ballot returning officer Karen Barany said the numbers of people electing to vote early at pre-polling centres had been climbing each day since pre-polling opened nearly two weeks ago.
“And every year, pre-polling has been increasing,” she said.
Wednesday saw 600-plus votes cast at the main Peel St polling place and today should be the busiest of the 10 days so far.
Among votes already gathered, have been those collected by a mobile team of electoral officers to aged care institutions in this council area and in the Liverpool Plains, too.
In Gunnedah, where the shire is conducting its own election rather than using the electoral commission like the 12 others in this region, there had been 2100 pre-poll votes cast up to last night.
Today, about 80 ballot papers are expected to be cast from patients in the Tamworth hospital.
Mrs Barany said many pre-poll electors were elderly but they lived at home and took the opportunity to vote during the week because they had carer transport, too.
Many others lived outside the 8km zone and if they came to town for shopping or work, voted as well, rather than be expected to drive that distance at least just to cast a vote at the weekend.
There are 40,150 people enrolled to vote in the Tamworth poll.
Voting is compulsory and the penalty for not voting is $55.