Gympie leads charge in 'out of control' pre-poll voting
THERE are still two days left in the federal election but a large chunk of the Wide Bay has had their say early, and Gympie is leading the charge.
As of yesterday morning more than a quarter of the electorate's 107,516 residents had voted at pre-poll, almost equal the total from the 2016 election.
There have been 9307 people through Gympie's early voting booth in the nine days it has been open, 50 more than have voted at the Maryborough pre-poll which has been open a week longer.
There have been 8665 early voters at Tewantin in those same nine days.
The average daily voter turnout in each part of the region has been 1034 in Gympie, 962 in Tewantin and 660 in Maryborough.
This Wednesday was the electorate's busiest day, with 3797 early voters passing through the pre-poll doors at the Senior Citizens Centre.
Of these, 1445 were from Gympie (the highest turnout in the electorate for any day so far) and 1417 from Tewantin.
The quietest pre-polling day where all electorate booths were open was Monday, May 6, with a turnout of 1467.
The smallest turnout at any single booth was in Maryborough on that same day, with 219 people lodging their ballots. Pre-polling has been a hot topic across the country, with this year's turnout shattering records.
More than three million Australians have voted by pre-poll, well above the 1.8 million who cast their vote early in 2016.
The system has drawn criticism from former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer and University of New South Wales law dean George Williams.
Mr Williams said this week pre-poll voting was "out of hand and needs reform”, and Mr Fischer said yesterday the system was leaving candidates with less time to visit and campaign in smaller country towns.
Pre-polling at the Senior Citizens Centre is open tomorrow from 8.30am-6pm.