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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.