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ACT election 2020: Where Canberrans are voting early | The Canberra Times

news, act-politics, pre poll voting, act election, early voting, act election early voting, canberra, canberra election

Brindabella voters are more likely to have cast their ballot early in the ACT election, as a major milestone for pre-poll voting is reached. More than half of all eligible voters in Canberra had already had their say in this year’s territory election as of Wednesday night. That figure was reached ahead of the final two days of pre-poll voting, traditionally the busiest days for early voting, and election day itself on Saturday. After 17 days of pre-polling, 152,143 votes have been cast, or 50.27 per cent of the electorate, but when combined with postal vote applications, that number rises to 57.6 per cent of eligible voters. By comparison, 83,000 votes, or one-third of the electorate, voted early at the 2016 poll. However, pre-polling was available on fewer days and fewer people were eligible to vote early four years ago. Of the 15 early polling places in Canberra, those in the Tuggeranong-based seat of Brindabella have been the most popular, with 33,626 votes. That was followed by the electorates of Ginninderra in Belconnen at 32,675, Kurrajong in the inner north and inner south at 30,289, Murrumbidgee in Woden and Weston Creek at 29,848, and Yerrabi, which takes in Gungahlin, at 25,705. Voters can pre-poll at any location, regardless of whether it is in the electorate they are registered to vote in or not. Data does not reveal which electorate a vote was cast for at individual polling booths. While Tuggeranong may be the busiest area in terms of pre-polling, it hasn’t been the busiest individual booth in the past two weeks. That honour belongs to the polling place at the Belconnen Community Centre, which has had 18,509 voters attend in the 17 days of pre-polling. It was followed by the booth in Woden which had 17,752, then Tuggeranong on 16,587 and Gungahlin West with just under 14,000. Weston Creek rounded out the top five with just over 12,000 votes cast. Elections ACT figures have shown an increasing trend of people voting early for the territory election ahead of the final days of pre-polling. Since the October long weekend, early voting numbers have been increasing, regularly hovering above the 10,000 mark. The busiest day for pre-polling was October 9, when 12,293 votes were cast, followed by October 14 with 12,060. An Elections ACT spokesman said more than 22,000 postal vote applications had been made. That’s compared to the almost 17,000 made for the last election in 2016. Due to the large number of people pre-polling using electronic voting, vote counting on Saturday is likely to occur at one of the fastest rates in Australian history. “We’ll be able to display the results from all electronic votes cast at early voting centres within one or two hours of the polls closing,” an Elections ACT spokesman said. “This will include a preliminary distribution of preferences.” Elections ACT said it aimed to have 75 per cent of the electorate vote before election day due to the coronavirus.

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