Ballot box filling fast
Voters quick to the task
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.’’