MORE than 18,400 New England residents will be hit with a fine, after failing to vote in the recent federal election.
At $20 a pop, the government will reap $368,000 from locals who didn't pre-poll or make it to the voting booths on Saturday.
New England saw almost a 10 per cent dip in participation, with 16.4 per cent of the electorate not voting.
When combined with the 6.59 per cent of votes marked informal, almost a quarter of the electorate (23 per cent) didn't have have their say.
Despite the large number of non-voters, New England actually had one of the highest turnout rates in the country, with 83.57 per cent, ranking in the top 10, above both the NSW average (80.14 per cent) and the national average (77.62 per cent).
New England Nationals chair Russell Webb said the recent NSW election, which was held just eight weeks before the federal one, could have be a contributing factor to the low turnout rate.
"I think there is massive election fatigue and that's quite evident in the turnout this time," Mr Webb said.
"People are a bit over politics at the moment, they're disengaged after seeing so much bickering from both sides, and people have just thought 'bugger this'.
"We really should treasure this right of being able to vote for our leaders."
Mr Webb said there was a "very good argument" for a four-year federal election cycle and to have those dates fixed, as state elections are, to avoid multiple elections in quick succession.
New England also saw a record number of people pre-polling, with more than 40,000 people casting an early vote at a pre-polling booth in the two weeks leading up to the election.
That's more than a third of eligible voters, or 36.6 per cent of the electorate.
About 16,700 people pre-polled in Tamworth, while Armidale, which had pre-polling open for the longest, had more than 10,000 people vote. Inverell had 6500 people pre-poll in just the five days leading up to the election.