Queensland elections – election day open thread


Polls have just opened for election day for the Queensland council elections and two state by-elections. Please feel free to use this post to discuss the election. I’ll have a liveblog at 6pm Queensland time.

The ECQ has announced that 1.2 million people have already voted. This includes 1.1 million pre-poll voters, and at least 120,000 out of 570,000 registered postal voters. More than 40,000 people have registered for a telephone vote, a method which was previously very rare. When you include those who have registered for a postal vote or telephone vote not yet received by the ECQ, it’s possible up to 1.8 million people (out of a total electorate of 3.2 million) will have voted without going to an election-day booth.

When you combine this with a likely drop in turnout, it looks likely that today’s council elections will be the lowpoint for ordinary election-day voting in modern Australian political history (excluding all-postal elections).

I’m currently compiling the council election data from the 2016 election which will allow for better comparisons – I’ll put together a post when this is ready.

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  1. Well, from quite possibly the weirdest election I’ve ever been involved in here’s the view from North Queensland – Airlie Beach to be precise.

    For starters, at 7:15 this morning candidates were advised that one of the three polling places for Division 1 – Hamilton Island – would not be open, and that the decision had been made “earlier this week”.

    We’re fighting a battle with the ECQ at the moment where it appears that certain types of votes will be counted without scrutineers being able to inspect them. The original proposal from our returning officer was that ECQ staff would inspect the boxes and witness the tags instead of scrutineers – fortunately that idea was knocked on the head.

    The basic attitude from the ECQ appears to be that candidates get in the way of a smooth running election.

  2. Not sure why people are freaked out about voting. It was to easy to pre poll and organise postal voting.
    Not many reasons left as not many at polling booths I went passed today.
    More people next to each other at the beach.

    My guess: People who organised themselves early will be people who want a say. The rest need a whinge.

  3. Many anecdotal reports of people who applied for postal votes not getting them. There was a record number of applications but would assume ECQ prioritised getting them out. Postal service has still been working (though is a shadow of what it used to be when it comes to promptness). Hard to know how big a no problem this is, but if it’s sizeable it could be grounds for challenge.

  4. Time to dismantle all attendance voting forever. Postal voting is the go like in Victoria’s council elections.

  5. From the ECQ media release 26/3/2020 https://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/media

    Postal voting
    All 570 000 postal vote ballots have now been lodged with Australia Post for delivery.
    Completed ballot material should be returned to the ECQ as soon as possible to assist with the counting process – the deadline for completion is 6pm on election day, but it is not necessary to wait until this time.

    So the last of the postal votes were lodged with Australia Post on Thursday (Wednesday if we’re being generous). By an amazing coincidence the ECQ Facebook page is drowning in people who haven’t received their postal votes and can’t get through on the phone.

    By the way, candidates for my Division found out at 7:15 this morning that one of our booths had gone missing. From the ECQ “Also advising that the Hamilton Booth was abolished earlier this week. There will be no in person voting on island today.”

  6. I have always been a defender of Electporal Commission against attacks by the lunatic right who think any rules are part of a United Nations Jewish conspiracy and the extreme left who just do not like being told what to do. ECQ have not covered themselves in glory this election:
    ?Very late announcements of Pre poll stations.
    ?Beerburrum Rd, Caboolture was the worst site I have seen for a pre poll insufficient parking
    No toilet
    roads impossibly to turn around in
    ?Unclear directions Officers in Charge received an e-mail instruction at 7:59 AM this morning otlining procedures for How to Vote display. At 7.59 an OIC is struggling to get booth open.
    ?Instructions re scrutineers are clearly in breach of Local Government Electoral Act
    ?First time ever that I have seen commercial Security guards on polling booths.
    ?Insufficient staff to count ballot papers tonight
    ?ECQ staff did not know what ballot papers would be counted when.
    ?Postal ballots not getting to to
    the voter on time.
    ?Call Centre overloaded
    ?Computer overloaded and not capable of handling situation
    ?Changes to How to Vote regulation at last minute
    ?Insufficient pre poll stations. No pre-poll stations in Kilcoy, Burpengary, Morayfield and no doubt many more sites.
    ?No certainty that election would

    Amazingly Andrew Bartlett is right this election result is going to be challenged in Court of Disputed returns.
    About half of these criticisms can be attributed to corona virus.
    The balance are the result of a neo liberal digitised mentality successfully infiltrating Public Service with a resultant belief that old and traditional ways must be wrong.

  7. While I hate to agree with the two Andrews, there is no way that this election won’t end up in court. When the official direction from the ECQ basically says to ignore the law, then it makes for a fairly easy case. By the way, these instructions have been in a constant flux since day 1.

    The Electoral Commissioner hereby directs:
    1. Despite section 59 of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 (LGEA) or section 104 of the Electoral Act 1992 (EA), or another provision of those Acts that allows a scrutineer to be present at a polling booth or other place:
    • scrutineers are not permitted to be at a polling place during times when electors may vote;
    • scrutineers are permitted to be in a polling booth before it opens to observe the sealing of the ballot box;
    • scrutineers are permitted to be in a polling booth after all electors have voted at the end of polling day, to observe the opening and emptying of the ballot boxes, but must leave once those tasks have been completed;
    • scrutineers are not permitted to be in a polling booth during the preliminary count on election night;
    • any scrutineers located outside the polling booth upon the completion of the preliminary count on election night (whenever that may be) will be invited into the polling booth to observe the sealing of ballot material before it is transported to the Returning Officer.

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