IT’S election day and the fate of the city is in your hands.
More than 25,000 people will flock to the polling booths today to vote for the 57 Wagga City Council candidates.
Hired hands, family members and friends will be handing out how-to-vote cards and hoping to sway your vote towards their preferred candidate.
“It’s a very interesting election,” former Wagga deputy mayor, Mary Kidson, said.
Eight incumbents will go up against 49 new faces – including seven ungrouped candidates and contenders from the Greens and Country Labor Party.
In 2008 the voter turnout was just more than 85 per cent and theinformal vote totalled 7.1 per cent.
Ms Kidson said she is “pleasantly surprised” by the number of people who are talking about the election this year.
“Even if they are tearing their hair out over who to vote for,” she said.
“Given that when it was not compulsory you were lucky to get 29 per cent (turnout).”
It is expected more than 33,000 votes will be lodged, including about 5000 pre-poll votes and up to 1000 postal.
In 2008 the vote quota for election was 2609, and with population increases factored in and voter turnout assumed, it is conservatively estimated any candidate who has 3000 first-preference votes bytonight should be assured a spot on council.
But Ms Kidson warns not to hold your breath on that front, and says the days of massive votes are gone.
She said the fact 51 per cent of people voted below the line in 2008 was encouraging and “shows you have a considerable portion of the people who are considered in their vote”.
After tonight some candidates will begin the nervous wait until next Friday for the formal announcement, while others will simply be relieved the race is over.
And, in the meantime, the city will lie in waiting for the next 11 officials to lead the city for another four years.
PICK ME: Wagga City Council election candidates (front two, from left) Elaine Furze and Donna Argus and (back, from left) Wayne Geale, Daniel Hayes, Paul Funnell, Bill Turner, Rod Kendall, Cllint Uden, Andrew Negline, Glenn Elliott-Rudder and Yvonne Braid vie for votes out the front of the Fitzmaurice Street polling location. Picture: Michael Frogley
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