EARLY VOTES: Record numbers line up at pre-poll booths
FRASER COAST residents are turning up in droves to cast early votes.
Thousands of people each day are filing through the doors of pre-poll booths in Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Tiaro.
In Maryborough, Division Two candidate Phil Truscott said he had seen at least 1000 people per day so far.
He said voters were definitely coming out earlier, with residents lining up first thing in the morning to vote.
Incumbent Division One Councillor James Hansen said more people were coming to the pre-polls than he had seen during previous elections.
He said hundreds of people had lined up at various times outside the Maryborough pre-polling place.
The Fraser Coast is not alone in recording huge numbers at pre-poll booths.
In a media release, the Electoral Commission Queensland said early voting numbers had reached unprecedented levels.
More than 169,257 Queenslanders had already cast their vote by the close of Tuesday, March 17, the statement said.
Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said the number was nearly four times that of the first two days of voting in the 2016 local government elections.
“Although we were expecting a rise in early voting, this increase is much greater than predicted,” he said.
“Clearly electors are hearing our message about taking advantage of early voting to mitigate exposure to COVID-19.”
Additionally, the ECQ has introduced special voting times for more vulnerable voters, such as people aged 60 and over, between 9am and 11am daily.
The ECQ has also extended voting hours available to residents at the three pre-polling places on the Fraser Coast.
They will be open from 9am-9pm Thursday, March 19, 9am-9pm Wednesday, March
25 and 9am-9pm Thursday, March 26.