Convenience Voting

The Voice Referendum – Postal and Pre-Poll Voting Rates

Monday 30 October – Postal vote receipt has now closed so this will be the final update. Returned postal votes represented 10.1% of enrolment, about 10.9% of votes counted. The final return rate for dispatched postal votes is 86.4%.

Saturday 14 October – final figures – At the close of early voting on Friday 13 October, 6.1 million pre-poll votes had been cast representing 34.7% of enrolled voters. A single day record of 1.1 million pre-poll votes were cast on Friday. Around 2.1 million electors had applied for a postal vote pack representing 11.7% of enrolled voters. Around 1.4 million completed postal votes have been returned. Returned postal votes represent 8.1% of enrolment or 69.3% of dispatched postal vote packs.

The final early vote figure is a record, higher than in 2022, but postal applications are lower than in 2022.

The post includes a number of graphs breaking down the figures by state and by electoral division.
Read More »The Voice Referendum – Postal and Pre-Poll Voting Rates

NSW2023 – Pre-poll and Postal Vote Application Rates by District

(Figures update on election eve, 24 March)

This post lists pre-poll vote rates and postal vote application rates by district.

The overall figures as of close of business Friday 24 March 2023 were –

  • The final pre-poll vote total was 1,566,493 pre-poll votes representing 28.4% of enrolment. This is up from 21.5% of all votes in 2019.
  • There have been 540,208 postal votes applied for and despatched to voters representing 9.8% of enrolment. Postal vote applications closed earlier this week. I don’t have the postal application figures for 2019 but 2.9% of votes (as opposed to enrolment) were postal votes.
  • A total of 92,077 postal votes have been returned representing 17.0% of postal vote applications or 1.7% of enrolment.
  • In 2019 another 7.0% of votes were Absent votes, the figure including out of district pre-poll votes in NSW. There were also 4.9% of votes cast using iVote, an option not available in 2023. On the day enrolment is allowed in NSW and 2.1% of votes were provisional or new enrolment vote. These numbers would all be slightly lower as a percentage of enrolment.

Much more detail inside the post. Read More »NSW2023 – Pre-poll and Postal Vote Application Rates by District

VIC22 – Results by Vote Type and Vote Type by Electorate

During the Victorian election campaign, I had a daily updated post tracking the record rates of pre-poll and postal voting.

With the results now complete, it’s time for a post looking at the final pre-poll and postal vote rates as a percentage of the vote rather than of enrolment.

It is also possible to look at two-party preferred results by vote type, though these may change slightly with the Narracan supplementary election and some additional preference counts to be completed in the new year.

I have also included a chart showing the percentage of each vote type by district.

In summary, the swing against the Andrews government was much larger on election day than with pre-poll votes, and there was a swing towards Labor with postal votes.

In 2018 the gap between polling day results and for early votes meant that the Andrews government’s 2018 victory looked much larger on election night than it turned out to be once all the votes were counted.

So large was the pre-poll and postal gap in 2018 that I built that trend into the ABC’s 2022 election computer model. That the gap was much narrower means that with complete twenty-twenty hindsight, it would have been possible to make a clear election call earlier in the evening.

More comments and tables inside the post.Read More »VIC22 – Results by Vote Type and Vote Type by Electorate

2022 Victorian Election – Early Voting by District

UPDATED – figures to Thursday 24 November

The table inside this post shows the rate of Early voting by district. Separate totals are provided for Postal applications and Pre-Poll votes.

The table is sortable by all four columns but here’s a summary of the three lowest and highest values.

Taking pre-poll votes and postal applications together, more than half of all electorates have passed 50% of enrolment.

Total Early Vote

  • Highest % – Nepean 67.6, Mornington 66.0, St Albans 65.3, Niddrie 65.1
  • Lowest % – Eildon 47.0, Lowan 47.7, Preston 47.9, Monbulk 48.3

Postal Vote Applications (now closed)

  • Highest % – Caulfield 21.1, Box Hill 19.4, Bulleen 18.6, Glen Waverley 18.2
  • Lowest % – Murray Valley 7.6, Morwell 7.7, Ovens Valley 7.9, South-West Coast 7.9

Pre-Poll Votes

  • Highest % – St Albans 53.0, Nepean 51.7, Melton 51.7, Niddrie 50.5
  • Lowest % – Eildon 31.0, Monbulk 33.9, Albert Park 35.5, Preston 35.5

Full details for all districts inside the post.
Read More »2022 Victorian Election – Early Voting by District

Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Victorian Election

Updated for voting on Thursday 24 November.

In this post I will track the rate of pre-poll voting and rate of postal vote application during the Victorian election campaign. The Victorian Electoral Commission is very helpful in publishing detailed daily figures on early voting.

Headline figures to Thursday 24 November are –

  • Just over 274k votes taken today. The final total is 1,908,400 votes or 43.4%. This compares to 1,389,980 votes or 33.6% of enrolment in 2018.
  • Postal vote applications have now closed. There have been 586,208 postal vote (early by post) applications processed representing 13.3% of enrolment compared to a total of 383,921 or 9.3% of enrolment in 2018. The 2022 postal % above has been re-calculated as I was using an incorrect total votes. The postal applications graph below has corrected percentages.
  • So far 272,779 postal votes have been returned representing 6.2% of enrolment or 46.5% of postal votes dispatched. There was no processing of postal envelopes on Friday. Instead all the counting went into verifying the previous day’s envelopes to allow them to be counted on Saturday night.
  • Both figures show a huge surge in early voting compared to 2018.

The total figures in 2018 were 1,389,980 pre-poll votes or 33.6% of enrolment, and 383,921 postal vote applications or 9.3% of enrolment. So after one week in 2022 there have already been more postal vote applications than in 2018.

Turnout is usually around 90%, so both these numbers will represent a higher percentage of total votes than is indicated as a percentage of enrolment. Also, not every dispatched postal vote will returned.

Graphs of the daily figures inside the post.Read More »Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Victorian Election

Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

Daily updated post tracking the rates of postal and pre-poll voting compared to previous elections.

State and territory elections over the last two years have seen a huge increase in both pre-poll and postal voting. I’ve written a number of posts on trends at those elections. I’ll include some relevant links at the end of this post.

I’ve also published a second post with a sortable table and graph showing the rates of pre-poll and postal voting by division.

The time between close of nominations and polling day is one week longer in 2022 compared to 2019, four weeks versus three weeks. In contrast, a change in the law means that pre-poll voting will be one week shorter in 2022, confined to only two weeks rather than the three weeks allowed at previous elections. The change means that where in 2019 pre-poll voting and postal voting started at the same time, in 2022 there have been two weeks for parties to flood the electorate with postal vote applications before the start of pre-poll voting for two weeks.

Summary of Early Voting statistics at the end of the pre-polling day period Friday 20 May

  • (Postals for Friday not yet available) With the closing date for postal vote applications now past, a total of 2,731,060 postal vote applications had been received representing 15.9% of enrolment. This compares to 1,538,139 in 2019 or 9.4% of enrolment.
  • 1,644,061 postal votes have been returned representing 9.5% of enrolment or 55.0% of dispatched postal vote packs. There have now been more postal votes returned in 2022 than the total number of postal applications in 2019.
  • In 2019 84.0% of postal votes dispatched were returned, though 3% postals did not make it through scrutiny so only 81.0% of postal votes dispatched made it into the count.
  • Postal votes admitted to the count in 2019 represented 7.6% of enrolment, or 8.2% of votes. (Based on House ballot papers admitted.)

Summary Pre-Poll Statistice –

  • Final Pre-polls to total is 5,541,757 to a total of 4,778,856 in 2019 in the reported daily figures. There were just under a million votes taken on Friday, 923,852 in total and 208,000 more than on the final day in 2019. There have been five fewer days of pre-polling in 2022 because of the change in the law, but the number of pre-polls has passed the number taken in the longer period in 2019. See graphs below. Pre-polls represent 32.2% of enrolled voters compared to 29.9 in 2019.
  • Pre-poll figures for both 2019 and 2022 are of all pre-polls issued at early voting centres so includes both within district ordinary pre-polls and out of district pre-poll declaration. Based on 2019 experience, most pre-polls will be within district pre-polls.
  • There were 4,908,831 pre-poll votes in 2019 representing 29.9% of enrolment or 32.5% of votes counted. This is the final audited pre-poll figure which is slightly higher than the reported daily totals used above in comparison to the daily totals in 2022.
  • In 2019 there were 4,288,451 House votes cast as pre-poll ordinaries, that is at a polling place for the voter’s home division. These represented 28.4% of votes counted.
  • There were another 620,380 House votes cast as pre-poll declaration, largely pre-poll absents cast outside of division, representing 4.1% of votes counted.

Read More »Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

2022 SA Election – Pre-Poll and Postal Voting Rates

The final figures for pre-poll and postal votes were as follows –

  • 29.9% of enrolled voters have either applied for a postal vote or cast a pre-poll vote.
  • 208,136 pre-poll votes have been cast representing 16.4% of enrolment. This is a 75% increase on the 120,468 pre-polls taken in 2018 representing 10.0% of enrolment. There were 35,820 on the final Friday of pre-polling.
  • There were 170,081 postal vote applications including around 25,000 permanent postal voters. This is twice the 82,213 applications in 2018 (not including 20,00 permanent postal votes) representing 6.8% of enrolment. Voters in Covid isolation can collect a postal vote pack from Covid testing centres which may add a few thousand extra postal votes.

Unlike every other Australian jurisdiction, Pre-Poll and Postal votes cannot be counted on election night in South Australia. The higher the rate of pre-poll and postal voting, the fewer the votes available for counting on election night and the lower the likelihood we will know the winners on election night.

In this post I explain the rate of pre-poll and postal voting at previous South Australian elections. I also provide charts of the rate of pre-poll voting by day, and the rate of postal and pre-poll voting by electoral district.

Most urban electorates should record a 50-60% vote count on election night which should be enough to call most seats. The seat with the lowest on the day vote will include Finniss (35%), Mount Gambier (45%), and Hartley, Colton, Stuart and Hammond under 50%.
Read More »2022 SA Election – Pre-Poll and Postal Voting Rates

2022 NSW By-elections – Tracking the Early Vote

The four NSW by-elections for Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby are being conducted under rules where every voter is automatically being sent ballot papers in a postal vote pack.

You can find my guide to the by-elections at the ABC Elections site. Each page now includes candidate how-to-vote material.

In this post I will keep track of the number of pre-poll votes cast and the number of postal votes returned before polling day. As I explain inside this post, the rate of postal voting is certain to be very high given this automatic send out of postal vote packs. Voters can still vote pre-poll or vote on polling day, but many are certain to use the ballot papers sent to them.

Observation – In the final week of voting you would normally see a surge in pre-poll voting. That hasn’t happened with these by-elections. Pre-poll voting increased each day in week one of voting, but there has been no increase in the per day rate in week two. That voters were receiving postal vote packs last week has almost certainly caused some voters to use their postal vote rather than attend pre-polling. As polling day nears, the number of postals returned has begun to surge.

The rates of pre-poll and postal voting by Friday 11 February on the completion of pre-poll voting:
Bega – 29.4% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 21.3% returned a postal vote
Monaro – 23.1% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 15.3% returned a postal vote
Strathfield – 16.3% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 26.4% returned a postal vote
Willoughby – 9.6% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 28.1% returned a postal vote

Inside this post I breakdown the pre-polls and postals by electorate by day and compare them to the equivalent rates in 2019. I also explain the rules under which the election is being conducted, and also the changed counting procedures for the by-election.

Update on Counting Procedures – Postal votes envelopes will be processed in the week after the election, but there will be no counting of postal votes until Saturday 19 February.

It is important to stress that this all postal election is not available for the Federal election or the looming South Australian election. Both those elections will allow more voters to apply for postal votes, but full postal mail-outs aren’t an option for either election.
Read More »2022 NSW By-elections – Tracking the Early Vote

Party Vote by Vote Type – 2018 Victorian Election

Back with another graph of the day post.

Every election held in Australia post the arrival of Covid-19 has seen a sharp decline in voting on election day and a surge in postal and especially pre-poll voting.

Last October’s Queensland election saw only 27.6% of votes cast as within-district polling day votes, with 43.6% of votes cast as pre-polls and 23.8% as postal vote. (See this post)

March 2021 saw a similar surge in Western Australia with polling day ordinary votes falling to 38.0% compared to 40.2% for pre-poll votes and 14.8% as postal votes. (See this post)

At the November 2018 Victorian election, polling day ordinary votes represented only 48.3% of all votes, the first Australian state election where less than half of votes were cast on the day in district. The rate of Early/Pre-poll voting was 36.8%, then the highest recorded at an Australian election, having quadrupled in 12 years.

Given the trend to voting before polling day has been stronger in Victoria than anywhere else, and given the state’s experience with Covid-19, one can only guess how low the rate of polling day voting will be at the 2022 state election.

The graph below shows the percentage vote by vote type at Victorian elections since 2006.Read More »Party Vote by Vote Type – 2018 Victorian Election