A record number of voters will cast their votes early at pre-polling centres ahead of Saturday’s federal election.
As of yesterday morning, three million pre-poll votes had been cast — up from about 1.8million at the same stage of the previous election.
In a federal election, voters are meant to have an excuse as to why they want to vote early, but this is not policed closely. Voting early could be a necessity if someone is scheduled to be away on holidays, for example, but some may wish to vote early just because they can.
Flexibility to vote early is, broadly, a good thing as it gives people the choice and the freedom to vote at their leisure and when they are comfortable their mind is made up.
For this election, pre-poll voting started on April 29, almost three weeks before the May 18 election.
In politics, three weeks is a long time.
That same week and the one following, several candidates in electorates across the country either resigned or were disendorsed due to social media indiscretions.
This is an example of just how quickly things can change during an election campaign period.
Many election forums open to the public, including the one co-hosted by Committee for Greater Shepparton and the Shepparton News in Shepparton, were held last week, long after pre-poll voting opened.
The announcement of policies and funding pledges are also factors that can influence a voter when considering their choice.
If they have already voted when they find out about this new information, it’s too late.
But that is their choice and is something of which they would well be aware when choosing to vote early.
For those voting on election day, on Saturday, we hope you enjoy the privilege.
And while you are there, enjoy a democracy sausage and support the fundraisers.