Pre-polling proves a hit

Post-election analysis shows a high number of voters in the CBD cast their ballot paper before the May 18 federal election.

As the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) reported further growth in pre-poll numbers, few places were as popular for “getting in early” as the CBD.

Over 11,000 people cast their vote at the pre-poll voting centre at 215 Spring Street.

Greens member Adam Bandt retained the seat of Melbourne with a 4.7 per cent swing in primary votes. 

Mr Bandt received 44.9 per cent of first-preference votes in the CBD (up from 42.7 per cent in 2016). This compared to 49.3 per cent throughout the entire division.

Long queues were reportedly seen at the Spring St voting centre in the days leading up to the election.

While some of these would have been CBD residents pre-polling for the division of Melbourne, most were likely workers enrolled in other seats, but who utilised the pre-polling option.

Pre-polling is ostensibly available for those who cannot do so on election day – whether for work, travel or health reasons. 

And while each voter is asked to self-declare one of the above reasons, there is no way the AEC can tell if they are telling the truth or not.

An AEC spokesperson told CBD News it was yet to determine why pre-polling had proved so popular.

“In between federal elections the AEC reviews voting trends in order to plan for the most effective voter service model. However, there has been no specific analysis on why so many more people are choosing to vote early.”

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