Bathurst residents will have to venture outside the CBD to take advantage of pre-poll voting, an increasing trend, at this year's federal election.
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From Saturday, May 14, residents will be able to visit Westpoint Shopping Centre in Windradyne to cast their vote early, giving residents only a week to beat the election day queues.
Westpoint development manager Jonathan Carlile said the centre was happy to provide shops six and seven, previously occupied by the pharmacy before it moved across the car park, to the Australian Electoral Commission [AEC].
"We're viewing this as a service to the community, so we're happy to be part of the process and give residents the opportunity to pre-poll if they have to," Mr Carlile said.
"The voting centre might encourage residents who don't regularly visit the centre to stop by, and if so, it'll be beneficial to our merchants."
A spokesperson from the AEC said there's expected to be an increase in early voting at this year's election, in keeping with trends from previous years.
"In 2019, 31.59 per cent of turnout was at early voting centres, up from 22 per cent in 2016," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the Calare electorate will see an additional 3335 voters face the ballot on election day in comparison to the 2019 election.
"According to our statistics, 121,564 are enrolled to vote in Calare, compared to 118,229 at the 2019 election," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also said there will be a substantial number of first-time voters on May 21.
"Almost 190,000 will be 18 on election day," the spokesperson said.
"Nationally, almost 1.7 million electors will be 18-24 years old."
Pre-polling at Westpoint Shopping Centre will be open from 9am to 4pm on May 14; 8.30am to 5.30pm on May 16 to 19 and 8.30am to 6pm on May 20.
For more information on voting locations at the 2022 federal election, visit www.aec.gov.au.
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