Voters hit the polling booths in Ipswich.
Voters hit the polling booths in Ipswich. Rob Williams

ELECTION DAY: Low turn out on election day in Ipswich

We'll be here throughout the day to provide you with updates on both the Ipswich City Council election the Bundamba by-election.

ROLLING COVERAGE:

6pm: POLLS CLOSED.

5pm: THERE is less than an hour left before polling booths across the region close and counting begins for both the local government election and the Bundamba by-election.

Polling booths remained eerily quiet today, with more than half of voters seizing the opportunity to have their say early.

Despite the lack of queues, some voters still believed the election should have been postponed as the country navigates the coronavirus pandemic.

 "I just think that it's been ill thought out in terms of what is actually going on in our community at the moment," voter Robyne Wilson said outside Blair State School.

"They are dong a fantastic job in there for trying to manage it the best way they can, but where we've been given the advice that we should all be staying indoors and not mixing around, people are still turning up here to do that. There's mixed messaging."

Ipswich has been without a council for 18 months after Ipswich City Council was dismissed in in August 2018.

"We've been doing okay without them and with the administrator in place, and really, the priority now is keeping everybody well. It's not about electing a new council, honestly it's not. "

Some voters at Bundamba State School had similar thoughts.

"I didn't want to come out myself and I tried to get the digits so I could do it over the phone and I couldn't' get through, so that was a failure for me.  I don't have an immune system, so I was really worried, but it was so easy," voter Shari Palmblad said.

"We can't do what we normally do in our normal way of living, so I think this probably should have been put on hold."

Signs of a different kind also started to appear throughout the electorate with some residents voicing their disapproval of the elections going ahead. 

A sign placed in West Ipswich.
A sign placed in West Ipswich. Rob Williams

 

12pm 

Polling booths across Division 1 and 3 remain quiet with the usual fan fare of candidate volunteers missing, along with the long queue of voters. 

Ipswich Central State School
Ipswich Central State School SAMTUI SELAVE

11am:

Fight breaks out at the Redbank Plains voting booth 

10:30am:

Polling booths remain open with hardly any voters in sight. 

According to the ECQ, as of yesterday, more than 55% of eligible voters in Queensland had already voted.

The ECQ expects that with the record number of early voters recorded, polling booths today will be more quiet than usual. 

The ECQ also urged voters to be vigilant of social distancing and to bring their own pencils/pens. 

SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - Springfield Central Pre-polling booth
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - Springfield Central Pre-polling booth SAMTUI SELAVE

9am:

At the polling booth this morning in Springfield, what would usually be a loud scene with a big group of people waiting in a long queue to cast their vote was unusually quiet.

There was reportedly a small queue according to ECQ staff as the booths opened in Springfield this morning at 8am.

By 8.30am it had eased up to the point where people were walking in and out with almost no wait time.

Division 2 candidate Sarah Knopke said candidates were quick to get their signage up this morning with polling booths fully decked out in banners and posters by 4am.

"People who have been at this before were all over it by the time we came out to put up our signs," she said.

The ECQ has also advised candidates to remain 100m away from the entrance of voting centres with candidate volunteers prohibited from interacting with voters.

One Springfield resident said that she thought today wouldn't happen.

"I'm surprised the election is still going forward with everything that's going on," she said.

Springfield Lakes Polling Booth
Springfield Lakes Polling Booth SAMTUI SELAVE

 

For a full list of candidates in your division head to: qt.com.au

Earlier:

The Willowbank Polling Booth at Amberley Girl Guides Hall closed at 6:30pm last night at the request of the Girls Guide Association.

 

 

 

 


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