It was a slow start in the race for votes in the Local Government Elections for Northern Beaches Council.

Seven pre-poll locations opened across the Northern Beaches today (Monday, 22 November) but candidates and their volunteers outnumbered voters in most places.

How to vote material traditionally handed out at pre-poll and on election day by volunteers has been banned by the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) because of the risk of COVID-19.

This has made the job of informing voters more difficult for the candidates, with some inventive methods such as using laminated A4 sheets for people to take a photo being banned at some locations and permitted at others by the NSWEC.

Candy Bingham - Good For Manly

At St Matthews Anglican Church at Manly, Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham and her Good For Manly volunteers were speaking to every voter passing the polling place.

“We’ve spent a lot of the day talking to people and raising awareness that the election for Council is on,” said Cr Bingham.

Sarah Baker from YNBIT and Felicity Davis from The Greens

At the Forest Ward pre-poll at Belrose, only the Greens and Your Northern Beaches Independent Team (YNBIT) were manning the entry. Forest candidate for YNBIT Sarah Baker, who was there with her dog, said it had been a quiet day.

“I think we’ve only had about 20 people go through today, but I’m doing well with the people who have dogs,” laughed Ms Baker.

Ben Grozier from YNBIT and Judy Lambert from The Greens

Outside the Salvation Army at Dee Why, candidates and volunteers greeted people who were coming to vote but according to Liberal Councillor David Walton it was a slow start with only around 100 votes cast there today.

Cr Vincent De Luca OAM and Michael Gencher from YNBIT

Mona Vale Memorial Hall saw more action, although candidates and volunteers still far outnumbered the voters who showed up on the first day.

As a joint pre-poll location for Narrabeen and Pittwater wards, it was also the location with the most number one candidates in attendance, including Independents Vincent De Luca OAM and Alex McTaggart, YNBIT candidates Ruth Robins and Michael Gencher, and Liberal Councillor Rory Amon.

Greens candidate Miranda Korzy was the only lead candidate at Avalon Recreation Centre but said it had been very slow, with few people realising that pre-poll for Council election had started.

Miranda Korzy from The Greens

Pre-poll locations:

  • Avalon Recreation Centre, 59A Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach
  • NSWEC Office, Building B, Suite 6, 13 Narabang Way, Belrose
  • Warringah Mall Community Room, Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale
  • Dee Why Salvation Army, 1 Fisher Road, Dee Why
  • St Matthews Anglican Church, 1 Darley Road, Manly
  • Mona Vale Memorial Hall, 1 Park Street, Mona Vale
  • South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, 1200 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen

Voting at pre-poll locations is available 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday – Saturday, from Monday, 22 November until Friday, 03 December. Election Day is Saturday, 04 December.

Alternatively, people concerned about COVID are now permitted to apply for a postal vote.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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