Bal­lot box fill­ing fast

Vot­ers quick to the task

Geelong Advertiser - - TAKE TWO - PETER BEGG WARD BY WARD, Page 13

THOU­SANDS of com­pleted bal­lot pa­pers are flood­ing in for the City of Greater Gee­long coun­cil elec­tions.

Vot­ing packs were sent out last week, and vot­ing con­tin­ues un­til Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 26.

The elec­toral of­fice said 170,409 vot­ing packs were sent out, and i t expected al­most 80 per cent, or 135,000 votes, to be re­turned.

Re­turn­ing o f f i c e r Eeon Ma­caulay said more than 16,000 votes came in on Tues­day, and that 25,000 votes had been re­ceived by Tues­day night.

Mr Ma­caulay said staff had worked long hours to process the mail.

‘‘We expected . . . large num­bers this week,’’ he said.

‘‘ The wards are not evenly spread, and some of that is due to later mail, some of them haven’t got mail or they are just start­ing to get mail now.’’

The elec­toral of­fice has had to do a sec­ond mail-out af­ter it was dis­cov­ered bal­lot en­velopes in­structed vot­ers to put only one bal­lot pa­per in the en­ve­lope.

Un­like the rest of the state, vot­ers in Greater Gee­long are vot­ing for a mayor as well as their ward can­di­date, and there­fore have been given two bal­lot pa­pers.

Mr Ma­caulay said there had been about 700 in­stances so far where vot­ers had put the sec­ond bal­lot pa­per in the out­side en­ve­lope rather than the en­closed bal­lot en­ve­lope.

He said a spe­cial pro­ce­dure had been de­vel­oped in those cases to en­sure they were counted.

‘‘The ac­tual vote is put back in the en­ve­lope and at­tached to the flapped en­ve­lope as if it was in the orig­i­nal en­ve­lope,’’ he said.

‘‘Be­cause of the cir­cum­stances, a spe­cial pro­ce­dure has been de­vel­oped to cope with that to en­sure no voter is dis­en­fran­chised be­cause of the in­struc­tions.

‘‘It will be the same when they are counted, ex­cept there will be two en­velopes for the one voter.’’

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