Early voting has begun

EARLY voting for the May 18 federal election began on Monday.

The Sale early voting centre in the former Nu Scene store, 204-210 Raymond St, will be open 8.30am to 5.30pm until May 9 (except the weekend); May 10, 8.30am until 6pm; May 11, 9am to 4pm; May 13 and 14, 8.30am to 5.30pm; May 15, to 6pm; May 16, to 5.30pm; and May 17, to 6pm.

Seven candidates are running for the lower house seat of Gippsland, (in ballot paper order) David Snelling (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party), Neville Tickner (Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party), Kerri Brewer (United Australia Party), Antoinette Holm (Labor), Sonia Buckley (independent), incumbent Darren Chester (Nationals), and Deb Foskey (Greens).

Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said with a record enrolment rate of 96.8 per cent of the population eligible to vote, it was important all Australians enrolled now thought about how and when they would cast their vote.

“We have the most complete electoral roll since federation and we’re providing a broad range of voting services, but it is up to enrolled Australians to turn out to make sure they have their say,” he said.

“We moved swiftly on Wednesday evening to design, verify and then print ballot papers in time for voters to access early voting centres from Monday.

“We’re in the process of printing a total of around 52 million ballot papers, and this also kick-starts the distribution of postal votes for people who have applied.”

More than 500 early voting centres are available throughout the early voting period.

Early voting centres have also been established at Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Traralgon and Morwell.

To find the location and opening times for early voting centres visit www.aec.gov.au or phone 13 23 26.