pre-poll

2020 Groom By-election – Rates of Pre-Poll and Postal Voting

Voting for the Groom by-election has been underway today with few surprises expected in the result.

Groom is an ultra-safe LNP seat, held with a margin of 20.5%. The by-election has been caused by the resignation of LNP member John McVeigh. Only four candidates have nominated, well down on the 14 that contested the Eden-Monaro by-election in July. That Labor nominated a candidate in such as safe LNP seat was greeted with general surprise, while the Greens have opted out of contesting a Federal by-election for the first time in a quarter-century.

The LNP’s Garth Hamilton is expected to win easily and I won’t be providing any coverage of the results tonight. The best places to follow the results are the Australian Electoral Commission’s website, and via William Bowe at his Pollbludger site.

As I have for other elections this year, I thought it worth devoting a post to pre-poll and postal voting rates. With Covid-19 still around, you would have expected a high rate of postal and pre-poll voting. In fact the numbers are only slightly higher in Groom than at last year’s Federal election.

It gives me an opportunity to raise an issue about postal vote applications that should be addressed before the next Federal election. In short, there are serious questions as to whether we should still be allowing postal vote applications as late as the Wednesday before polling day. With Australia Post scaling back postal delivery times, what is the point of allowing application for postal votes too late for the postal vote pack to be delivered before polling day?
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Tracking the Pre-Poll Vote for the ACT Election

In this post I’ll track the rate of pre-poll voting for the 2020 ACT Election compared to 2016. The ACT Electoral Commission is actively encouraging pre-poll voting as a Covid-19 measure.

I’ll graph the data inside the post.

Day 19 – The final day of pre-polling, Friday 16 October, saw a huge surge with 26,804 votes taken. This brings the total number of pre-poll votes to 192,186 from a roll of 302,630, representing 63.5% of enrolment. Around 90% of these pre-poll votes were taken electronically and will be released in the count on Saturday night.

Another 22,328 electors have applied for a postal vote, putting the pre-election day voting rate up above 70%.

Several notes to make. First, late and polling day enrolment are allowed in the ACT so the roll number will rise slightly. Secondly, not all postal votes will be returned. Third, it is estimated around 80,000 Canberrans will vote in the traditional way today, Saturday 17 October.Read More »Tracking the Pre-Poll Vote for the ACT Election