The Electoral Commissioner for Queensland, Patrick Vidgen, has assured voters, that Council elections will proceed as planned, in spite of concerns about the covid-10 virus.
“We’re planning with what we know and going ahead as normal,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.
He did say that they have have a good supply of hand sanitiser and of pencils at polling booths, but if anyone is concerned, they can bring their own.
Optional preferential voting
Unlike Federal and State Elections, casting a preference vote in Council Elections is optional for voters.
Electors can choose to “vote for one, vote for some, or vote for all” candidates on the ballot paper.
Who is preferencing who in The Gabba?
The Westender understands that locally, the Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri is suggesting to his voters that they preference Labor, and Labor’s Rachel Gallagher is advising her voters to preference the Greens candidate.
The LNP is running a Vote 1 campaign, i.e. Mr Jones is recommending no preferences.
Of course, it is up to voters to make their own choices about preferences. How to Vote cards are the Candidate’s or Party’s guide to voters only.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland reviews all How to Vote cards and that process will be finalised on Thursday, 19 March, curiously after early voting starts.
Gabba Ballot Paper
The order of candidates on the ballot paper is likely to favour the LNP
|GALLAGHER, Rachel||Labor Party|
|SRI, Jonathan||The Greens|
The Vote for Mayor
Remember that you also get to vote for the person you want to be Brisbane Lord Mayor, and you have nine candidates to choose from in 2020.
Voters are given two ballot papers. One ballot paper is to elect the Lord Mayor, and the other to elect your local Councillor.
Optional preferential voting also applies to the vote for Mayor.
If you want to know more about the two major party candidates for Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner for the LNP, and Patrick Condren for Labor, see this debate broadcast on ABC Brisbane earlier in March.
#LIVE: LNP Mayor Adrian Schrinner and ALP Mayoral Candidate Patrick Condren are making their pitch to Brisbane voters this morning. At the end of the month you’ll get the chance to choose your local councillors and Lord Mayor.
Posted by ABC Brisbane on Tuesday, 3 March 2020
The Greens candidate Kath Angus spoke on ABC Radio Brisbane on Wednesday, March 11.
How is your vote counted?
The winner on 28 March will be the candidate who achieves 50% or more of all votes cast. So, in a three-candidate race such as The Gabba, after the first count, the preferences for the candidate who polls the least first preference votes, will be distributed to the other two candidates (as voted) and so on, until all votes are exhausted, to determine a winner.
As the pundits say, if you want your vote to count, casting a preference is a good idea.
See the ECQ site for details on how votes are counted, here: https://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/how-are-the-votes-counted
Voting is compulsory for Council, and voting day is Saturday, the 28th of March.
The ECQ advises that you can vote via post, but postal vote applications close at 7pm Monday, 16 March 2020. You can apply to receive a postal vote by completing the postal vote application form PDF (0.12 MB) or apply online. Voting must be completed by 6pm on election day. The ECQ must receive your completed ballot no later than 5pm Tuesday, 7 April 2020.
Early voting starts on Monday 16 March and ends on Friday 27 March 2020. You can vote at Brisbane City Hall or locally at 24 Bank St from 9am to 5pm next week – it will be open from 9am to 6pm on the week of March 23 to March 27.
Booths in The Gabba for the Saturday 28 March vote are at:
- West End State School, 24 Vulture Street
- St Francis Church, 47 Dornoch Terrace, Highgate Hill
- Brisbane State High, on the corners of Vulture and Ernest Streets, South Brisbane
- St Ita’s School, on the corners of Pope St and Waterview Tce, Dutton Park
- Lutheran Church Hall, 12 Hawthorn Street, Wooloongabba
- The Mater Hospital
- Uniting Church, 46 Linton Street, Kangaroo Point
There are a range of services available to voters, for example, telephone voting and mobile access. For details see: https://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/how-to-vote/voter-assistance
ABC Brisbane has produced a useful guide that you can view – HERE