Recalcitrant Gympie voters face $113 fine
AN ABC report that 2000 voters from the Gympie mayoral by-election could this week expect a $113 fine in the mail for not voting in February were played down by Mayor Mick Curran yesterday.
Electoral Commission Queensland's David Gottke said last month more than 4000 notices were issued and about half of those either provided an acceptable reason for not voting or paid the $56 fine.
Mr Gottke said 2082 people were given three weeks to pay the increased penalty or provide a legitimate excuse why they did not vote.
Cr Curran has contacted Local Government Minister Jackie Trad to ask that all the fines be waived, but confirmed yesterday he had still not received a response from the minister's office.
Attempts by The Gympie Times to contact Ms Trad yesterday also proved fruitless.
Cr Curran urged voters who had received a notice in the mail to respond to it.
"If you have received one of these notices and you have a valid reason (for not voting) or you, in fact voted, then return the paperwork," he said.
"The system isn't unreasonable," Mr Gottke said.
"If there is a reasonable reason for not actually voting then that penalty would in all cases ... be waived."
Mr Gottke said anyone who had a valid reason for not voting should respond immediately.
Anyone who wanted to contest the fine could take the matter to court, he said.