My mission like so many other voters in New South Wales yeterday was clear. There was no option: I had to front up at a polling station and get marked off — unless I had voted beforehand or by post — or face a penalty, Not a huge penalty:
If it appears you didn’t vote at an election you were eligible for in New South Wales, and you don’t have a valid reason, we will send you an apparent failure to vote notice in the post.
The penalty for not voting in New South Wales is a $55 fine. You must respond within 28 days of the issue date of the notice.
Only once since I first was on the Electoral Roll (1965?) have I ever had to pay the fine. That in fact was the most recent local government election when the weather was particularly bad so I stayed at home. I paid, no worries. But usually I do my duty.
Duty done! And lunch today is just a takeaway. No democracy sausage as I did not have cash on me, but I savoured the aroma! Love that here in Oz elections are such a friendly affair — all the candidates of all parties getting on quite well on the day and their workers socialising. Also love love love COMPULSORY VOTING! It is a DUTY not an optional extra. Helps prevent fanatical lobby groups and causes swinging the vote. And I LOVE preferential voting!
And they supplied pens not pencils this year!
People, we are so lucky in this country!
By 8.30 pm we knew the result. By 10 pm the outgoing and incoming leaders had made their speeches — one of concession, the other claiming victory.
It had by no means been a foregone conclusion. Everyone — me included — thought it would be a very tight result:
US friends — I suspect we do this sort of thing rather better here in Oz! We look at circuses like your ongoing one in sheer horror.
Really? Why do you put up with this nonsense?
And the Bunnies won too! Good day, yesterday!