THERE is something quite outdated about the model of early voting for elections.
For two weeks, voters who do not think they will be able to make it to a polling station on the day of the state election on Saturday, March 23 will be given the chance to cast their vote at a number of early voting centres across the Bathurst electorate.
The largest is at 96 Bentinck Street and election officials estimate more than 10,000 votes will be cast there alone.
As a result, volunteers will be out the front of the centre each day - rain, hail or shine - handing out how-to-vote flyers in the hope of helping their favoured candidate across the line.
It's a deeply flawed system that requires enormous resources to be done properly and one that puts minor party candidates at a distinct disadvantage.
While Labor and the Nationals will have a roster that ensures at least one of their volunteers is outside the centre at all times, candidates such as Michael Begg (Sustainable Australia) and Timothy Hansen (Keep Sydney Open) can only dream of such support.
Of course, once the polling stations close at 6pm on March 23 and the counting starts, any close results will be further delayed because votes cast early - up to one-in-three eligible votes in some electorates - cannot be counted that night.
And, for all that, we instinctively know that very few of those 10,000 early voters will have a legitimate reason for doing so.
For the vast majority, early voting is simply a matter of convenience - one less job to do on a weekend.
There has to be a better way, and many already believe there is: electronic voting.
Following a knife-edge result at the 2016 federal election, all sides of politics gave cautious support to the idea of electronic voting, providing security concerns could be addressed.
But in an age when we happily shop online and conduct our banking from our lounge room, surely we can make a safe and secure online voting system.
And it's hard to imagine that an electronic voting system could be more prone to rorting than the current system where we only have to state our name and address - and produce no identification - to receive a ballot paper.
The technology is there for electronic voting and the political will is (apparently) there, so why are we still waiting?