Lowest voting numbers ever
MORE than 20 per cent of enrolled voters in Leichhardt did not vote in last weekend’s election and 5.9 per cent of votes were informal.
In the past three years since the previous federal election, the number of enrolled voters in Leichhardt has increased by 6000 people but the turn out of voters in last week’s election was only 79.61 per cent.
The Australian Electoral Com- mission said it is too early to speculate on the number of nonvoters, as postal votes can still be received 13 days after the election - as long as they were sent by 6pm September 7.
AEC Queensland media spokeswoman Caroline D’Allura said votes from some polling booths had yet to be returned as well.
‘‘ The figure will definitely change over the next week or so as votes get counted and once confirmed people who haven’t voted will get sent a letter and if they don’t have a valid or sufficient reason as to why they didn’t vote they will be asked to pay a $20 fine,’’ she said.
‘‘If they choose not to pay they can go to court and can pay up to $170 just for not voting.’’
The number of informals has also increased since the previous election in 2010, despite the AEC running a campaign to encourage people to enrol and vote.
‘‘We have a very large campaign to get people on the electoral roll and then casting a valid vote. The AEC goes to great lengths to try to get everyone involved,’’ Ms D’Allura said.
‘‘ Informal votes are something we look into after the election and put strategies in place to try and counteract people.’’