After a five year wait, Tamworth has finally elected a new council.
Result will start trickling in from Saturday evening, but final results are expected to be delayed by coronavirus restrictions in counting rooms.
Volunteers turned out to give up their Saturday, unpaid, in the name of local democracy, as candidates gave voters a last-minute plug before close of polls this evening.
There was just one thing missing: the smell of a democracy sausage.
One of the few fundraisers that the Leader did find on Saturday was at Tamworth High School, where a prefect group raised money for the local school.
It was the first ever election for year 12 year advisor and HISHE teacher Steve Lasscock.
Mr Lasscock was well-prepared to cook hundreds of bacon and egg rolls.
He sees election day as a big opportunity to make money for the school.
"If you're in charge of the year group that's fortunate enough to have an election, it's brilliant news for the school," he said.
The year 12 prefect group weren't the only people giving up their Saturday in the name of democracy.
She was one of the few people not standing for office and with nothing to gain personally from the outcome to give her time on Saturday at the Tamworth High School booth.
The perennial volunteer has spent 11 years giving her time to a variety of different charitable causes and thinks elections are just another way to help out.
"I like to help out in any way I can," she said.
"Labor's for ordinary people. I've always voted Labor."
Cr Russell Webb said it was the first election he'd attended without volunteers handing out how-to-vote cards.
With restrictions keeping electioneering 100 metres from polling booths, many volunteers and candidates decided the best move was to just be visible and be available for questions nearer the entrance.
"Through the whole process it's been very fair and friendly," Cr Webb said.
'"I would have to say that today and even yesterday even, everybody's getting a bit testy because they're starting to worry about have they done enough, are they getting through what they need to get through?"
The feeling among supporters and between councillors was almost comradely, one of his supporters said.
Helen Hystek speculated it was the hardship of COVID-19 that had brought all the candidates together in the face of a common foe. She said she's excited about the prospect of a truly united local government.
Cr Webb said candidates appreciated the effort of volunteers and they wouldn't get far without them.
But you can find yourself after the election answering the phone calls from dozens or even hundreds of supporters.
"it makes it difficult sometimes when you're trying to deliver to those people," he said.
"It makes it difficult to achieve all the things that you'd like to achieve. Sometimes you don't achieve all of those things and then you feel like you might have let some down. In the overall scheme of things all you can do is your best."
Candidate Mark Rodda had the most visible presence at the booths visited by the Leader, with two or three volunteers working on many.
One of them was Adam Straub, who was putting in his second effort after volunteering for Cr Rodda in 2016.
"It's volunteering I suppose. We only do it because we want to do it," he said.
Mr Straub said he was going to put in five or six hours on Saturday because Cr Rodda is "just a normal bloke".
"He's just a normal bloke I reckon, just a normal family man, you can relate to him I suppose," he said.
"It's probably the biggest reason."
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