‘Wildly quiet’: Crowds scarce at Noosa polling booths
THERE was not a democracy sausage in sight, nor the usual campaign party heckling voters are greeted with upon arrival at a polling booth, in fact voters themselves were scarce.
Voting at Tewantin State School’s polling booth was a quicker process than a fast food drive-through as locals came sporadically turned out make their decision count.
While markings were in place on the ground to space voters 1.5 metres apart as per social distancing measures, it was hardly necessary with polling workers reporting a “wildly quiet day”.
Eumundi State school was also a ghost town as those who live in Sunshine Coast Council boundaries made their decision.
Meanwhile Noosa’s mayoral candidates have been spending the day visiting polling booths with their campaign hands all but tied.
Incumbent Mayor Tony Wellington said today’s polling centres were “spectacularly orderly” thanks to measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s spectacularly orderly with people obviously not queuing up, which is fantastic,” Cr Wellington said.
“I think everyone is actually very happy not to be walking the gauntlet of candidates and volunteers thrusting pieces of paper at them, it’s very hospitable.”
Cr Wellington, who has spent most of the past week dealing with COVID-19 on a local level, said this election had been like no other.
“The election leading up to this day has been very unusual in some ways,” he said.
“I think it’s been a very different sort of election and social media has a lot to answer for in that regard.”
His opponent Clare Stewart said the lack of crowds was a positive indication of how many had chosen to vote early.
“This is a great example of how pre-polling was so popular, there’s hardly anyone here today,” Ms Stewart said.
“When we’ve been driving around it’s been very sparse.”
She said today marked the end of a long campaign, and in particular week.
“We’ve just been checking all the corflutes are up, we have to stay away from all the polling booths,” Ms Stewart said.
“This is obviously the last day of a very long campaign so it’s been long and arduous at times.”
“Because we can’t be on the polls it feels quite different, it has this whole last week.
“It’s felt very different, I’ve felt like a ship without a port to come into.”
She said after months of campaigning, it was now up to the people.
“We’ll just wait now - it’s in the lap of the Gods as my father used to say.”