POLLING DAY: Different voting locations from across the South Burnett were empty. Photo: Laura Blackmore
POLLING DAY: Different voting locations from across the South Burnett were empty. Photo: Laura Blackmore

ELECTION DAY: Polling booths empty amid COVID-19 threat

IT WAS a rare sight to see so many empty polling booths across the region as the local government election kicked off across the region this morning.

The South Burnett Regional Council election was still held amid threats from the coronavirus pandemic figures increasing across the state.

 

St John's Lutheran School at Kingaroy was pretty quiet this morning on election day for 2020. Photo: Laura Blackmore
St John's Lutheran School at Kingaroy was pretty quiet this morning on election day for 2020. Photo: Laura Blackmore

The Electoral Commission of Queensland said after considering the decision to cancel the event and taking advice from Queensland Health, they determined that based on current advice available the elections should proceed.

 

A sign to remind residents to social distance at the Murgon PCYC. Photo: Laura Blackmore
A sign to remind residents to social distance at the Murgon PCYC. Photo: Laura Blackmore

They said the elections facilitated an essential service by providing for continuity of democratic representation for Queenslanders.

With prepolling figures higher than the 2016 election, there was talks in the community of what would happen if electors didn't take part in the compulsory voting system.

A spokeswoman from the ECQ said following the election, an analysis of voting practices would be undertaken.

 

There definitely wasn't a wait to vote at the Murgon PCYC this morning on election day 2020 in the South Burnett. Photo: Laura Blackmore
There definitely wasn't a wait to vote at the Murgon PCYC this morning on election day 2020 in the South Burnett. Photo: Laura Blackmore

"As part of this, non-voters who have not already registered an excuse, may be contacted through an 'apparent failure to vote' notice.

"Non-voters will then be able to provide a reason to the ECQ as to why they were unable to vote."

 

Residents came in sporadically to the Kingaroy State High School to vote. Photo: Laura Blackmore
Residents came in sporadically to the Kingaroy State High School to vote. Photo: Laura Blackmore

The fine for not voting in the local government election for Queensland is $133.

The spokeswoman confirmed the number of people to vote in the Queensland election at polling booths across the state at 1pm was up to 449,996.

She said they would put an update on their media page sometime after the close of polls later tonight.

Voting closes at 6pm.

 

The Wondai polling booth at the council chambers was empty. Photo: Laura Blackmore
The Wondai polling booth at the council chambers was empty. Photo: Laura Blackmore