Pre-poll effort hot work for volunteers
WITH less than a week to go until Clarence Valley formally goes to the polls, more people are electing to vote early.
The increase in pre-poll voting has meant volunteers across the political divide are handing out how to votes two weeks before the election and recent hot weather has prompted Country Labor candidate Trent Gilbert to call on the NSW Electoral Commission to take their well-being into account when choosing pre-poll locations.
"We live in a hot and dry part of the country and there is no respite from the sun for large portions of the day,” Mr Gilbert said.
"I recognise that in a strict sense the NSW Electoral Commission don't have a duty of care but I feel as though there should be some consideration given to these people.”
Mr Gilbert said political party volunteers were an important part of the democratic process and should be recognised as such.
"It has been shown previously that 30 per cent of people make up their mind as they are walking in the door and volunteers are an important part of elections and the political process at every election.”
There are four early voting centres open across the Clarence electorate: the Clarence Election Manager's Office in King St in Grafton, Maclean Civic Hall, Casino Community and Cultural Centre and Evans Head RSL.
Over 10000 people cast pre-poll votes in the 2015 NSW state election and a further 16643 cast a pre-poll ballot in the 2016 Federal election at stations in Grafton Maclean, and Casino.
According to the NSW Electoral Commission, you may be eligible to vote if you will be outside NSW on election day, working, travelling, have a religious belief preventing you from attending on the day or are seriously ill, among other reasons.