If you don’t vote, expect $133 fine

 

VOTERS without a valid reason for not heading to the polls today can still expect to cop a $133 fine.

Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders will still be required to cast their vote in the council elections amid the coronavirus crisis as the ECQ continued to warn that voting was compulsory.

"Once the election is finished, the ECQ instigates a non-voter program," an ECQ spokesman said.

"That program will contact all apparent non-voters to seek an explanation. Fines are not automatically applied and are not the first step in the non-voter program."

A voter in a mask is seen turning out to vote at a pre-polling booth in Virginia, on Brisbane’s northside, on Friday. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
A voter in a mask is seen turning out to vote at a pre-polling booth in Virginia, on Brisbane’s northside, on Friday. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

The latest statistics from the ECQ show about 1.8 million Queenslanders - or about 55 per cent of eligible voters - have already cast their vote at pre-poll booths or made arrangements to do so over the phone or by post.

This includes about more than 400,000 voters in Brisbane.

It means about 1 million voters will be required to cast their vote today. A number of regional councils solely elect their councils via postal votes.

The Queensland Chief Health Office Jeannette Young last night said if voters were "well", it was important that they voted.

"If you are sick, please stay at home as everyone should be at this time if they're unwell," she said.

"This is the election that you need to be efficient about. So when you turn up, keep a 1.5 metre distance and then quickly go through the process.

"Have a pen ready, bring it with you."

Originally published as If you don't vote, expect $133 fine


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