Thousands vote then enjoy a democracy sausage

Jane Nash (left) and Casey Moon serving up democracy sausages to help fundraise for the Sale & District Specialist School on election day.

Stefan Bradley

Polling day saw foot traffic down as early voting numbers spiked this election season, but the Aussie tradition of a snag after voting lives on.

Cold morning weather in Sale led some to wait until the afternoon to line up to vote.

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien handed out how-to-vote cards for his Nationals colleague Darren Chester at Araluen Primary School.

“It was surprisingly busy after 11am, even with the high pre-poll numbers. There were lines right out to the netball court,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We soon saw perfect weather. Everyone was in good spirits, and voters were out to do their democratic duties.”

Asked what voters were telling him, Mr O’Brien said that most did not wish to discuss policy with volunteers at the booth.

“You hand out how-to-vote cards to voters, but they don’t tell you anything. They say thanks or no thanks. Even if they do engage, it’s not to engage in a policy discussion.”

Sale & District Specialist School became a polling booth for the very first time, representing a prime opportunity to raise money with a sausage sizzle.

Sale & District Specialist School principal Jamie Gay said the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) contacted them earlier this year to see if they wanted to be a polling booth.

“We said we’d love to do it and showed them through the facilities. The AEC decided it met their needs so we chose to run a sausage sizzle today to raise the profile of the school,” Mr Gay said.

“It’s always hard to find volunteers for any school, but thankfully we have a handful of happy people to help today.”

Jane Nash, part of the Parents and Carers Group, said it was a great opportunity to showcase the school to the community, while also supporting the school.

“I believe pre-polling was quite popular, so that might be why we’re seeing fewer people coming through, but it also may be because we’re a new venue for voting,” Mrs Nash said.

“When we came up at 9am, apparently only 50 people had come through the door.”

Mrs Nash said the proceeds from the snags and drinks will fund investments for the children.

“It helps us target a wishlist of things our students need. The barbecue trailer we are using was borrowed from Sale Catholic College. We’d like to buy our own so we can do more fundraising elsewhere.”

Mr Gay said he wanted to get a hydrotherapy spa into the school for the kids that need it.

“We have to do some refurbishment and renovations to make it fit properly, so it’s probably going to be expensive.”

The AEC reported that more than 50 per cent of eligible voters chose to vote early this election.

Sausages cooked by volunteers from the Sale & District Specialist School.
Photos: Stefan Bradley

Sale & District Specialist School Principal Jamie Gay. Photo: Stefan Bradley

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien (right) at Araluen Primary School with Labor volunteer Mike Smith and Greens volunteer Josef Sestokas.

Araluen Primary School. Photo: Stefan Bradley

Sale Memorial Hall just after 8am on Saturday. Photo: Stefan Bradley

Voters line-up ahead of going to the ballot box at Sale Memorial Hall just after 8am on Saturday.