Voters head in to make their mark.
Voters head in to make their mark.

We're smarter at election time

TWEED voters are apparently much smarter and better behaved than those in western Sydney when it comes to casting a proper vote at election time.

A study by the Australia Electoral Commission on voting trends has found a huge increase nationally in informal voting in last year’s Federal election.

The worst electorates were in western Sydney with the far north coast electorate of Richmond matching the national average informal vote of 5.5%.

The worst electorate was Fowler in south-western Sydney which includes Cabramatta at 15.9% and the best New England at 0.2%.

The commission also found a “substantial increase in “assumed intentional informal voting, in particular blank ballots”.

Local scrutineers also report they are often shocked by deliberate informal votes where rude and nasty messages are scribbled on the ballot paper.

However initial voting figures from last weekend’s state election in the electorates of Tweed and Lismore show an apparent improvement on the informal vote – but Tweed voters were fare worse than those in the seat of Lismore, which includes Murwillumbah and many rural areas of the Tweed,

NSW electoral figures for the seats show the Tweed had 1143 informal votes out of 30,612 so far counted or 3.73%

Lismore had 719 informal ballot papers out of 34,318 votes so far counted or 2.095%

Yesterday Federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot called on voters not to waste their votes.

“We are very fortunate to live in a country where every citizen has the right to vote,” Mrs Elliot said.

“It is disappointing that informal votes are cast. I encourage everyone to make their voices heard and exercise their right to vote.”

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