NEW IDEA: Trial drive-through polling at the Tewantin Tafe building.
NEW IDEA: Trial drive-through polling at the Tewantin Tafe building. Alan Lander

Drive-in polling trial declared a success

THE trial of a drive-in polling booth for voters with mobility issues or a disability is cautiously being declared a success.

The Noosa pre-polling station set up at Tewantin's defunct Tafe building was chosen as one of two locations to trial the voting system, where Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) staff can assist those who would find it difficult to exit their vehicles to vote in the usual way.

ECQ returning officer Colin Brown said on Tuesday he was pleased with how it had operated on its first two days.

"I was a bit worried when it rained a little this morning, but it cleared up," Mr Brown said, adding that the circular driveway's central lawn was prone to minor flooding.

"The rain can wet the ballot papers, too," he said.

Two aged care buses have also passed through the drive-in, allowing large numbers of elderly residents to vote.

Mr Brown said numerous non-disabled drivers were also using the system.

"We're not going to stop them," he said.

The trial's apparent success was especially assisted by the Tafe's unique traffic layout.

 

Mr Brown also wanted to emphasise that, while the Tafe building was being utilised as the only pre-pooling centre in the Noosa region, it would also be open as a normal polling booth on Saturday - with drive-in provisions - as it was able to handle high volumes of voters.


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