Election: Voters urged not to throw their choice away
WITH Local Government elections just over a month away, Banana Shire voters are being pushed to think carefully about their votes.
Banana Shire Local Government Elections Returning Officer Graham Pitt (65) is responsible for managing the nomination process for candidates counting the votes and ensuring the proper conduct of the election.
Mr Pitt has worked as an election officer at more than 10 combined State and Federal Government elections and said there’s roughly about 9,000 enrolled voters in the Banana Shire.
“The outcome of the election is in the hands of the people,” Mr Pitt said.
“We are lucky that we have compulsory voting in Australia because a lot of countries have voluntary voting.
“All the people have the chance to have their say even if it’s not the outcome they wanted.”
Mr Pitt said that although some voters really take the time and consider their vote, some voters are not bothered by the outcome of the election and those people should give it a long hard think.
“Most people have already made up their minds very early on in the piece while others just circle one, two, three and don’t want to get fined,” Mr Pitt said.
“Even those quick one, two, threes can make a difference to the outcome without them knowing it.
“People are likely more concerned about what’s happening here and now then in a month’s time or what the pressing issues are at the council table.
“There’s going to be more advertising for this election as we get closer to the date.”
The Banana Shire Council area is a full postal ballot area and the possibility exists that Mr Pitt may not have to count up votes in certain divisions that may have only one candidate standing.
“First thing Saturday night I will be counting the votes,” Mr Pitt said.
“With six divisions and a mayor I can have six divisions to count plus the mayor vote doesn’t go into one big pile, it’s each division’s mayor votes that go into a separate pile again.
“All up I can potentially be counting up to 12 different piles of votes.”
March 28 is the cut-off date for postal votes to be submitted for the Local Government election.