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TROPIC NOW EXCLUSIVE: Almost a third of Cairns voters didn't take part in Council election


Tropic Now has obtained exclusive figures showing only 70% of eligible voters in the Cairns Regional Council area exercised their democratic right to vote in the weekend's election.

The startling numbers come as two divisions remain too close to call.

The Queensland Electoral Commission says just 25,000 of the registered 104,000 voters attended polling booths on Saturday.

The bulk was made up by pre-poll voters, while more than eight thousand lodged postal votes.

Here is the breakdown:

  • 104,000 electors in the Cairns Regional Council local government area
  • 1,800 registered for telephone voting
  • 8,100 applied for a postal vote
  • 38,600 pre-polled
  • 25,300 voted on election day
  • Overall 73,600 electors were marked off as having received a ballot paper

"An election is declared when the outcome is mathematically certain," a spokesman for the Electoral Commission (ECQ) said.

"Approximately 31,000 appear to be non-voters."

Those who didn't vote will be asked to 'please explain' before being issued a fine.

"In coming weeks, non-voters may receive a ‘failure to vote’ notice," the ECQ spokesman said.

"They will be able to explain why they were unable to vote.

"A fine is not automatic."

Many people refused to attend polling booths amid the COVID-19 outbreak and couldn't register to vote by phone because of jammed lines. 

Those in mandatory isolation experienced the same issue.

Division five is still hanging on a knife's edge, while division eight remains close with less than half of the vote counted.

These are the latest figures being reported by the ECQ. 

Cairns Mayor

Bob Manning (66% of the vote)

Division 1
Brett Moller (65% of the vote)

Division 2
Pyne (59% of the vote) 

Division 3
Cathy Zeiger (83% of the vote)

Division 4
Terry James (Comfortable with 53% of the vote)

Division 5
This is shaping up as a real stoush as Amy Eden leads Richie Bates by just 55 votes with over 84% of the ballots counted. Eden 45.33% of the vote, Bates 44.68%.

Division 6
Kristy Vallely (62% of the vote)

Division 7
Max O'Halloran (Comfortable with 36% of the vote)

Division 8
Rhonda Coghlan has edged in front of Ellen Weber by 23 votes with this division going down to the wire. Still a lot of votes to be counted with only 26% of the ballots counted. Coghlan has 30% and Ellen Weber has 26%. Todd Olds could still be a dark horse with 21%.

Divison 9
Brett Olds romping it in with 86% of the vote.

MORE TO COME...