Sat. May 18th, 2024

Concerns Sparked as Voting Issues Arise Before Scott Morrison’s Old Seat By-Election

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May11,2024
Key Points
  • Lower-than-expected early voting numbers for the Cook by-election have the electoral watchdog concerned.
  • The seat was held by former prime minister Scott Morrison. The Liberals have selected Simon Kennedy to contest it.
  • Morrison held the seat of Cook for 16 years.
Australia’s electoral watchdog says it’s worried about low voter turnout in the by-election for former prime minister Scott Morrison’s Sydney seat of Cook.
Almost 112,000 people are eligible to vote in the Cook by-election, and Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the concern stems from lower-than-expected early voting numbers.
“While by-elections traditionally have lower turnout than a full federal election, it’s still below expectations, and just as important to have your say,” Rogers said in a statement on Thursday.
“The early voting numbers we’re seeing are down by approximately 11.2 per cent based on the same period in the 2022 federal election and nearly 13 per cent for the same period in the 2023 referendum in the division.”

He said postal vote applications were also “down slightly”.

A woman slips a piece of paper into a voting booth slot.

The electoral watchdog says early voting numbers for the Cook by-election are down. Source: AAP

Some 18,447 people had cast an early vote as of 10 April, the Australian Electoral Commission said — three days out from polling day on Saturday, 13 April.

That’s down compared to the 21,443 early votes cast at the same stage in the 2023 Voice to Parliament referendum, and the 20,769 ahead of polling day for the 2022 federal election.
“While it may be that more people vote on by-election day this time around, typically if someone casts their vote early in one election, they’ll do so in the next one,” Rogers said.
“This is why the numbers we’re seeing makes us worry about low participation.”
Rogers said that voters who fail to cast a ballot in the by-election without a valid reason — which is $20.
Morrison after more than 16 years as the MP for Cook.
The former prime minister said he was excited to take on “new challenges in the global corporate sector and spend more time with my family”.
The seat of Cook has been safely held by the Liberal party since 1975, with Morrison retaining a 12.4 per cent margin despite suffering a major drop in support in 2022.
Simon Kennedy won Liberal preselection for the seat and is running against candidates from the Greens, several minor parties and one independent.

Labor has not put forward a candidate.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Concerns Sparked as Voting Issues Arise Before Scott Morrison’s Old Seat By-Election”
  1. It’s concerning to see the low voter turnout in the Cook by-election for Scott Morrison’s seat. Every voice matters in shaping our nation’s future, so I urge everyone to exercise their right to vote and make a difference.

  2. Are there any specific factors contributing to the lower-than-expected early voting numbers for the Cook by-election or is it a general trend?

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