MYALL Coast residents went to the polls last Saturday to elect the first ever group of MidCoast Councillors for the new amalgamated Council.
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In a hive of activity, candidate supporters in colourful campaign shirts were out in force, handing out how to vote cards and greeting the stream of voters as they arrived at polling places around the region.
Although some residents said they experienced long queues, election officials at both Tea Gardens and Bulahdelah said the constant flow of voters during the morning was as expected.
“We were very busy mid-morning, mainly between 10-11am when the maximum wait in line was about 20 minutes,” the Bulahdelah Polling Place Manager said.
“We have had no problems throughout the day, it has all flowed well.”
First-time voter, 18-year-old Tim To, said he was a little overwhelmed at the size of the crowd when he arrived at the Tea Gardens Polling Place during the peak time.
“The people waiting in the line behind me were awesome, they kept me calm and explained the procedure,” Tim said.
“It felt good being considered an adult and finally having the responsibility to have a say on who will represent us.”
Counting at each of the 49 polling places in the MidCoast region commenced directly after the polls closed at 6pm on election night.
The Tea Gardens Polling Booth Manager estimated counting the first preference votes would take his team up to three hours to complete.
“Once the tallies are run, we phone our count through to the MidCoast returning officer in Forster,” he said.
The ballot papers will be sent to a central location this week to be entered online and preferences distributed.
According to the NSW Electoral Commission, 72,723 people were enrolled to vote in the 2017 MidCoast Council election.