17,510 vote early in the race for the seat of Gladstone
A CONSTANT trickle of constituents cast their ballots at booths in the Gladstone electorate on the official polling day after more than 60 per-cent people chose to vote early in the 2020 Queensland Election.
Incumbent Labor Member Glenn Butcher was joined by four candidates in the race to see who will represent the Gladstone electorate in Brisbane for the next four years.
LNP candidate Ron Harding, One Nation's Kevin Jorgensen, independent Murray Peterson and Emma Eastaughffe of The Greens.
The Gladstone electorate was formed after the seat of Port Curtis was reconfigured for the 1992 election.
Over the past 28 years, independent Liz Cunningham held the seat for 20 years and Labor for eight, including the past five years with Glenn Butcher.
Early voting booths at Gladstone and Boyne Island were open from Monday, October 19 until yesterday, seeing a consistent stream of traffic as people took advantage of the flexibility afforded, primarily due to COVID.
Electoral Commission of Queensland Gladstone electorate returning officer Mark Larney said more than 17,500 early votes were lodged and 2000 postal votes.
"When early voting closed we had collected 14,260 votes from Gladstone and 3250 from Boyne Island," he said.
"The booths are reporting it has been steady today, without being overly busy.
"We'll probably take about 8000 votes today."
Mr Larney said Clinton is traditionally the biggest booth, collecting more than 1000 votes, followed by South Gladstone with more than 700.
He said the result should be declared by 9pm.
"You'll have all the figures on the website fairly early I would think," Mr Larney said.
"All bar the 2000 postal votes will be counted tonight.
"So we should have a fairly good indication of who has won tonight.
"Hopefully by 9pm all the first preference votes will be on the website."
The Gladstone Observer visited most of the booths in the Gladstone area and saw a small number of people arrive to cast their votes.
Melissa Bryan of Gladstone said she didn't believe a lot of people knew what they were voting for.
"Queensland needs to get its s..t together and start doing stuff for the people, not their own political gain," she said.