Residents who didn’t vote in by-election could face fines
Those who failed to vote in the Rockhampton Regional Council 2021 by-election could face a fine of $130.
The Rockhampton region has a total of 55,885 enrolled votes, of which 45,902 voted.
This leaves a total of 9,983 enrolled voters who failed to lodge a vote, according to the latest Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) data.
There are a number of steps for non-voters in a local government election with the fine being the very last step.
Those who are voting for the first time do not receive a letter or warning, due to concerns COVID was a factor.
Those who have missed voting in more than one election are to receive a letter reminding them voting is compulsory.
Repeat non-voters will receive an “apparent failure to vote notice” which gives the person the opportunity to contact the ECQ to discuss their reasons for not voting or to pay the fine before the deadline,
If the fine is paid after the deadline, the full price is one penalty unit - $133.45.
”Electors can have a range of reasons for not voting such as falling ill unexpectedly, caring for someone who has fallen ill unexpectedly, being in lockdown in another state and not being aware of telephone voting options,” an ECQ spokesperson said.
Informal votes are recorded however they cannot be tracked to the voter.
The ECQ qualifies a donkey vote as a number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. from top to bottom on the ballot paper.
The Rockhampton Region Council 2021 by-election was an optional preferential voting election.
Voters had the opportunity to number the candidates or for just one.
At least one first preference must be marked for a candidate.