Early votes for a quick count in Vic poll
Three quarters of the crucial ballots in this year’s Victorian election are expected to be counted on polling night thanks to a growing trend towards early voting.
The Victorian Electoral Commission is aiming to ramp up vote counting on November 24 to 75 per cent of the lower house ballots, compared to 65 per cent counted on the day of the 2014 state election.
The speedy tally will be made possible thanks to an anticipated jump in early voting.
Up to 50 per cent of voters are expected to fill-in ballot papers before election day, according to the commission. Changes to the laws mean people can vote from November 12 and no longer need an excuse to do so.
The change to early voting is one of several in place for 2018.
New campaign laws limit the size and number of political banners and how close to polling booths they can be displayed. And voters can register online for postal ballots, while people with specific needs can use telephone-assisted voting or download a Voters Voice app.
The commission will base most of its counting at the Melbourne Showgrounds and the tally will continue until midnight on polling day and resume on Sunday.
“This state election will consume considerable financial, logistical, human and administrative resources,” Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said.
“The VEC is recruiting more than 25,000 staff to operate 1795 voting centres, servicing up to 4.2 million eligible voters.”
2018 STATE ELECTION KEY DATES:
* October 30 – Writs issued
* November 6 – Electoral roll closes at 8pm (VEC staff working on the Melbourne Cup public holiday)
* November 12 – Early voting starts
* November 21 – Last day to apply for postal vote
* November 23 – Early voting closes
* November 24 – Election day
(Source: Victorian Electoral Commission)
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