One of the hundreds of 'donkey votes' received by the Mackay ECQ office.

PHOTO: Nat Bromhead / Daily Mercury
One of the hundreds of 'donkey votes' received by the Mackay ECQ office. PHOTO: Nat Bromhead / Daily Mercury Nat Bromhead

OUR VIEW: Why I’m angry with the voters of Maranoa

I’M GOING to be very honest with you, Maranoa. I’m pretty cranky because of this election.

Not because of the overall result (or lack thereof), or anything to do with the polling in this electorate. All candidates ran tough but fair campaigns and the LNP predictably won, despite needing more than first preference votes for the first time in a while.

No, I’m angry at the more than 4100 people across this electorate who put in informal or ‘donkey’ votes.

This isn’t the Senate ballot sheet I’m talking about, which is so long it can double as a table runner.

I’m referring to the House of Representatives green ballot sheet – a fairly straight-forward ‘number all the boxes 1-8’ piece of paper.

I find it hard to believe so many people accidentally messed up this voting sheet, which means 6% of our electorates population decided they didn’t care how the election went and either doodled, scribbled, or left blank their sheet and popped it in the box.

As of Monday afternoon, with the majority of the votes counted, 356 people in the Maranoa submitted informal votes.

The enrolled voter turnout was also lower than the national average, which might have something to do with distance as well.

I know of a few people already who did this; people who are unhappy with the system right now and want change.

But I can tell you one thing – not voting properly does not help fix your problems one bit! If you did not put a proper vote in, you have no right to complain because you did not participate in the democratic process.

There are countries around the world where freedom and democracy is not a given right – Australians sometimes do not realise how lucky they are. Remember that next time you think your vote doesn’t matter.


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