2020 Queensland Election – Tracking the Early Vote

In this post I will keep track of the Queensland election postal and pre-poll vote totals.

Polling day update At least 320,000 postal votes will be counted after 6pm on election night along with around 925,000 pre-poll votes.

Pre-poll Final Update including Friday 30 October – another 168,070 pre-poll votes were taken on Friday, the final day of pre-polling and the most taken on any day. The total of pre-polls is 1,288,696 or 38.2% of enrolled voters. On top of these numbers, another 26.8% of electors have been sent postal vote packs, see details below. Not all postal votes are returned, some are returned late and some are rejected because of problems with details on the envelope. Some people who have requested a postal vote end up voting pre-poll or turn up on election day.

The final Thursday and Friday of pre-polling saw the most votes recorded, though the late surge was not as prominent as at the Eden-Monaro by-election and the ACT election.

As many postal and pre-poll votes as possible will be counted on election night. Pre-poll votes cast within district will be counted on election night, roughly 75% of the total, will be available for counting on election night. The number of postal votes to be counted will depend on how many are returned and have their envelopes processed before the weekend.

(Updated 10:30am 31 Oct) A total of 905,806 postal vote packs have been dispatched, a total that represents 26.8% of enrolment. As of 6pm Friday evening, 571,095 postal envelopes have been returned, a return rate of 63% and representing 16.9% of enrolment. Pre-processing of returned envelopes has begun, 329,334 envelopes having admitted to the count for opening and counting on election night, representing 9.8% of enrolment. More envelopes may be admitted to the count during the day on polling day. This is a high before polling day rate of return for postal votes, no doubt due to registration for postal votes closing two weeks before polling day on 16 October. This means the number of outstanding postal votes arriving after polling day will be lower than in the past.

The table of postal votes by electorate in this post has been updated to include the return rate.

In 2017 there 303,076 postal and unenrolled votes admitted to the count, so the number of applications is almost triple the number of votes recorded in 2017. It is likely there will be between two and two-and-a-half times as many postal votes in the count in 2020 compared to 2017.

Chart 1 tracks the number of pre-poll votes taken each day.

Chart 2 will accumulate the votes by day and show the total taken by each day as a percentage of enrolment.

For more information on early voting at Queensland elections and its political impact, check out my post on the subject.

The table below shows, by district, the postal votes sent to voters, and the number marked as returned as of Wednesday evening. The percentages shown are both calculated as a percentage of enrolment. Statewide, 905,772 electors (26.8%) have been sent a postal vote pack, and 316,868 (9.4%) have been returned. This represents a return rate to date of 35%. As of Wednesday evening, 121,359 envelopes had been admitted to the count, ready to be opened and counted or rejected on Saturday. The postal votes sent and returned are shown in the table below.

Log of Updates by Day

Pre-poll Update Monday 19 October – a total of 121,183 pre-poll votes were taken representing 3.6% of enrolment. That means in total 30% of enrolled voters have participated by applying for a postal vote or voting pre-poll. Another 2,171 voters have registered for an Electronically Assisted Votes and 1,334 have been cast.

Pre-poll Update to Tuesday 20 October – around 141,000 pre-polls were cast on 20 October, bringing the total cast to just under 263,000 or 7.8% of enrolled voters. This brings the total of postal and pre-polls votes to more than 1.15 million or 34.2% of enrolled voters.

Pre-poll Update to Wednesday 21 October – around 113,000 pre-polls were cast on 21 October, down on the first two days. That took the total to around 376,000 of 11.1% of enrolled voters. This brings the total of postal and pre-polls votes to nearly 1.3 million or 37.3% of enrolled voters.

Pre-poll Update to Thursday 23 October – around 117,000 pre-polls were cast on 23 October, taking the total cast to around 493,000 or 14.6% of enrolled voters. This brings the total of postal and pre-polls votes to around 1.4 million or 40.8% of enrolled voters.

Pre-poll Update to Friday 23 October – around 107,000 pre-polls were cast on 23 October, taking the total cast to around 600,000 or 17.8% of enrolled voters. This brings the total of postal and pre-polls votes to around 1.5 million or 44.4% of enrolled voters.

Pre-poll Update to Saturday 24 October – final figures for Saturday were 67,287 taking the total pre-poll vote to 667,777 or 19.8% of enrolled voters. Roughtly 75% of these votes have been cast within district so are available for counting on election night.

Pre-poll Update to Monday 26 October – nearly 104,000 pre-poll votes were taken on Monday, taking the total to around 770,000 or 22.8% of enrolled voters. When combined with postal vote applications, that means just under 50% of electors have either pre-poll voted or applied for a postal vote, more than half of all votes when you remember that turnout will only be around 90% of enrolment. As noted below, not all postal votes are used, returned in time or admitted to the count.

Pre-poll Update to Tuesday 27 October – just under 100,000 pre-poll votes were taken on Tuesday, taking the total to around 870,000 or 25.8% of enrolled voters. When combined with postal vote applications, that means that more than 50% of electors have either pre-poll voted or applied for a postal vote, an even larger percentage measured against votes given that turnout is around 90% of enrolment. As noted below, not all postal votes are used, returned in time or admitted to the count.

Pre-poll Update to Wednesday 28 October – another 101,617 pre-poll votes were taken on Wednesday, taking the total to around 973,901 or 28.8% of enrolled voters. When combined with postal vote applications, that means that more than 50% of electors have either pre-poll voted or applied for a postal vote, an even larger percentage measured against votes given that turnout is around 90% of enrolment. As noted below, not all postal votes are used, returned in time or admitted to the count.

Pre-poll Update to Thursday 29 October – another 146,481 pre-poll votes were taken on Thursday, the most taken on any day to date. The total of pre-polls is now over 1.12 million or 33.2%. Another 26.8% of electors have been sent postal votes, which means that 60% of enrolled voters have either cast a pre-poll vote or been sent a postal vote, though there will be some overlap with people sent postal votes pre-polling instead. With turnout expected to be about 90%, this means 30% of electors will vote on the last day of pre-polling or on election day. Note that not all postal votes will be used, be returned, or be accepted on return.