WANNON constituents have been left feeling 'irritated' and neglected after 11 polling booths were axed in the region without notice.
The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed the following closures in Wannon days before election day:
AEC Warrnambool branch spokesperson Brian Facey said unprecedented levels of pre-polling contributed to the closures.
"It's essentially due to the number of people voting, there hasn't been increases at those particular places," he said.
"There's been an increase in the number of people voting early, which means there's less places open on election day.
"For the people in those areas, they do have the option of postal voting.
"We have also opened an early voting centre in Ararat, which wasn't there before."
Caramut Post Office owner Gary Toth was surprised to hear his town had been kicked off the list, as no-one had notified him of the change.
"I didn't even realise, that's just crap," he said.
"They haven't really given an option for the postal voting down here either, I haven't heard anything and you'd think they would send something to the post offices.
"There's a lot of older residents here who don't have computers who probably wouldn't even know.
"Usually they have voting down at the public hall here, I think there's going to be a few irritated people when they find out they have to leave town to vote."
Running a small business makes leaving to vote tough for the post office proprietor.
"I run a post office, it's not easy for me to duck out and vote, let alone having to go out of town to do it," Mr Toth said.
The closures have sparked debate online, with some expressing their disappointment.
"It is not just the ease of voting these towns miss out on but also a revenue and fund raising opportunity," one said.
"I think it is more important to make a community facility available than it is to save a couple of dollars. We should be doing everything we possibly can to make it easy to vote and encourage community participation."
Others pointed out the cost of staffing, "The cost of each polling booth must be enormous. Staff, stationery etc. Then you need volunteers for how to vote cards and scrutineering," they said.
Death of the democracy snag?
With more voters choosing to avoid the election day madness through early polling, will the democracy sausage become a thing of the past?
St Joseph's Primary School, one of Warrnambool's main voting centres, will not be holding a sausage sizzle on election day, nor will Warrnambool Primary School, Camperdown College, St Patrick's Primary School or Port Campbell Recreation Reserve, many of whom are unsure whether a barbeque will be held.
Warrnambool Greens representative Heidi Wisniewski who has been handing out 'how to vote' cards outside the Warrnambool early voting centre, said the anticlimax to election day is disappointing.
"Election day used to be so exciting, there was a real buzz in the air as everyone would line up to cast their votes," she said.
"Now with many choosing to vote early there isn't as many community fundraisers like cake stalls or sausage sizzles."
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