4000 snub Valley poll

By EMMA CORNFORD

OF the 33,600 registered voters in the Clarence Valley, an estimated 4000, or close to 12 per cent, did not vote in Saturday's council elections.

According to Clarence Valley Council returning officer Ray Endean, the 'very high' number of non-voters came as 'quite a surprise'.

"Usually it's around five per cent. We're expecting around 500 more postal votes to come in and that means it will probably stay around 12 per cent which's very high," Mr Endean said.

But according to State Electoral Office manager of electoral services, Brian Decelis, the Clarence Valley election produced a higher than average turnout when compared with the rest of the state.

"A normal turnout for local elections is 80 to 85 per cent turnout, so it's actually quite high," he said.

"So to send out 4000 notices (to non-voters) is not that ugly for us at all."

On top of the 12 per cent who did not vote, 10 per cent of voters cast an informal vote.

So many people voted both above and below the line that Mr Endean said he was going to recognise those votes as formal.

It is a step that would significantly lower the number of informal votes cast on Saturday.

"A lot of people did that (voted above and below the line)...so provided they have voted correctly below the line I've decided to admit it," he said.



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