A combination of early, postal and telephone voting means that just over half of eligible voters will come to the polls for today’s federal election.
About one in three eligible voters cast their vote ahead of the official opening of Election Day, with nearly 6 million Australians passing through pre-poll centres.
A mix of pre-pole, postal and telephone votes means only about 8 million of the 17 million voters will have to go through the doors on Saturday.
The Australian Election Commission will begin counting the ballots from tonight as the country votes for its next government.
But the committee said about 5.54 million people voted early by Saturday, on top of a record 2.73 million people who voted by mail.
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A last-minute regulatory change will allow people who need to isolate themselves due to COVID-19 to vote by phone.
The committee registered 45,000 people for telephone voting and another 27,000 voted for their mobile team.
Australian Election Commissioner Tom Rogers warned voters that COVID-19 could lead to longer wait times as some polling booths struggle with staff shortages.
“It’s COVID elections,” Rogers said.
“If you go to your polling station today, there may be queues.
“Please be kind to our staff. It’s your parents, your grandparents and your siblings.”