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Poll heralds changes

Monday, 24th January, 2011

Voters in Broken Hill and district will find at the State election that several established polling booths have been closed.

Others, however, who would normally cast a postal vote will be able for the first time to vote via the internet or by telephone.

In Broken Hill, Anzac Hall in Crystal Street has been closed as a polling booth and replaced by the YMCA in Chloride Street.

The Happy Day Pre School in Kaolin Street has also been withdrawn from service as has the Tibooburra School of the Air, the White Cliffs Public School, the Pooncarrie Hall and the Tilpa Community Hall

Local MP John Williams said these booths had been closed because they attracted too few voters or were not available on election day, March 26.

"Polling places have been abolished due to the booth taking consistently less than 100 votes and due to some places being unavailable," he said. 

"Even though a polling place has been abolished, voters can use the next closest polling place, or if the elector lives at least 20 kilometres away from the polling booth, they can take advantage of the iVote system or apply for a postal vote." 

"iVote" is mainly for people who will be away from NSW on election day or who are blind or have poor vision, are illiterate or have other disabilities.

People who want to use iVote must apply, just as they would for a postal vote. This can be done on the internet or by calling an iVote call-centre. 

It will operate for the same length of time as pre-poll voting.

Mr Williams said iVote would be a "huge benefit" to remote postal voters who, in past elections, had cast votes that were not counted because they were not delivered on time.

How to cast an iVote

People may register on the internet at www.ivote.nsw.gov.au or by telephoning 1300 2 ivote (1300 24 86 83).

They must be on the electoral roll and will need to make a declaration that they are eligible for iVote.

A Personal Identification Number (PIN) of 6 numbers will have to be chosen and voters will then be sent an iVote number by mail or email or SMS or voice call (the choice is yours).

Registration opens on February 17 and closes on March 23.

Votes can be lodged from March 14 to 25.

iVote cannot be used on election day.

A demonstration of how it works will start on February 17 at www.ivote.nsw.gov.au or telephone 1300 2 ivote (1300 24 86 83).

Anyone requiring more information may go to www.elections.nsw.gov.au, or contact the Murray-Darling Electorate Office in Broken Hill on (08) 8087 3315.

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