Early voters show poll is not dull

DESPITE all the protests and satire and the almost constant comments that this is one of the dullest election campaigns in history, it seems the result still matters to many Australians including those living overseas or away from home, and those who cannot get to a polling booth.

Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said yesterday even with two days of early voting figures to be added to the numbers, it was clear the Australian Electoral Commission was tracking towards record levels of early votes at the 2010 election.

“Overall, approximately 1.8 million early votes have been cast so far, representing about 12.5 per cent of all people enrolled to vote (14,088,260) for the 2010 Federal election,” he said.

By Wednesday August 18, the AEC had recorded 811,190 pre-poll votes cast, up 229,193 compared to the same point of time in the 2007 election (581,997). The combined tally of people who have requested a postal vote during the election period so far is 951,829 up 145,087 from the same point at the 2007 election (806,742). On election night a larger number of votes will be counted than ever before.

“Firstly, there are 443,187 more voters than at the 2007 election, and secondly, recent legislative change means the AEC is able to count those pre-poll votes cast by a voter in their home electorate on election night.

“Even though large numbers of votes will be counted on election night, the volume of early votes and the potential for a large number of absent and other declaration votes means counting will continue for at least two weeks after election day,” Mr Killesteyn said.

Further information about the counting processes and access to progress results is available from the AEC website.

With predictions of a tight result in the 2010 Federal election, some pundits are predicting we may not know the result today.

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