WITH a reported 15,000 people in the Shoalhaven choosing to cast their vote early, numbers polling on election day were lower than in the past.
People working at the booths and handing out how to vote flyers said while there had been a steady stream of voters, numbers were down on previous elections.
John Anderson from North Nowra was handing out flyers for the Liberal Party at Illaroo Road Public School and has been involved in a number of state and federal elections.
“Normally there is a queue out the door,” he said, around 11am on Saturday.
“But it’s never been so quiet. We have two boxes of flyers and one is untouched. We’d normally go through more than that, but I don’t see us getting through half of what we have.”
In addition to smaller numbers voting on election day, Mr Anderson said fewer people were taking how to vote flyers.
He said it was a good thing.
“I hope that’s the future – we don’t need this,” he said.
“There’s no reason in the future we couldn’t use computers to vote.”
Mr Anderson felt more people were pre-polling as there were fewer barriers to doing so.
“Once upon a time they quizzed you on why you had to vote early,” he said.
Peg Ryan from Tapitallee was also at Illaroo, handing out flyers for the Greens.
He said numbers were likely down to pre-polling and felt that was fine.
“Why not?” he said.
“It’s just spread out, it’s no different.”
He too saw digital voting as a possibility in the future.
“It would be different if we could vote digitally, which could be the next thing.”
Chris Bell, who was handing out flyers for the Labor Party at Illaroo Road said while pre-polling was a convenience for people who worked on Saturday or had other obligations, it had drawbacks as well.
If parties released vital policy information in the final days leading up to election day, it could leave voters without the necessary information to make an informed choice.
“If someone has voted on day dot, unless they are familiar with the policies, they aren’t really seeing that back and forth of the campaign,” he said.