Electronic counting of the Tamworth Regional Council local government election should provide for an early indication of which way the poll is heading from late tonight.
Tamworth returning officer Karen Barany says the 24 polling places across the council region will open at 8am and close at 6pm and the Electoral Commission websites will have continuous updates from then.
The Tamworth office will input votes by computer and she expects the first preference count on the candidates to be completed tonight.
A check count will be taken tomorrow and while she admits that might not all be completed Sunday, she agrees that a preliminary picture might be available to work out leading candidates for election.
According to poll analysts, there should be some trends emerging from the early count, with at least three or four candidates looking like they will get over the line early.
The preliminary results will also give some idea of the fight for the rest of the nine spots.
The results will be based on a voting quota, which in the Tamworth Regional Council poll probably means a candidate has to get a minimum number of votes. This is based on the number of formal votes, divided by the number of candidates, plus one vote (to get them over the line).
In this 2012 poll that quota will be at least 3500, given that there are 40,150 voters enrolled, although going on past ballots, up to 5000 might not even bother turning up to vote.
The Tamworth returning office will also handle the count for the Liverpool Plains Shire Council. The electoral team will undertake the shire count on Monday and Tuesday, including inputting all votes and also handling the flow of second preferences.
There are 12 electoral staff engaged to enter voting data and Mrs Barany says their skills in fast and accurate inputting will make it a quick process.
They will then return to the original Tamworth scrutiny and undertake the second preference counts, and complete the poll.
This should be done by about Thursday or Friday.
Voting results will be at www.votensw.info and follow the links.