Early voting for 2019 state election opens Saturday in Parkes

An election expert predicts more than 1.5 million voters will cast their NSW election vote early.
An election expert predicts more than 1.5 million voters will cast their NSW election vote early.

Early voting numbers are expected to surge again, with pre-polling now open online and at dozens of polling centres across NSW.

Voting for the March 23 state election officially opened at 8am on Monday and some 1.5 million people are expected to vote before election day.

Pre-polling in Parkes will open on Saturday at the Parkes Uniting Church in Court Street from 9am to 5pm.

The church will be closed on Sunday but will reopen for early voting from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

The following voting centres will be open across the Parkes Shire on election day:

  • Parkes Assemblies of God Hall in Rees Avenue
  • Parkes East Public School
  • Parkes Public School
  • Middleton Public School
  • Trundle Central School
  • Tullamore Central School
  • Peak Hill Central School
  • Alectown Soldiers Memorial Hall
  • Bogan Gate Public School

Australian Political Studies Association vice president Rodney Smith expects early voting will increase to more than 30 per cent - up from 25.1 per cent at the 2015 election.

Early voting was just 15.3 per cent in 2011.

"Most of the increase will be in early in-person voting, with a small increase also likely in the iVote," Professor Smith told AAP.

"The main causes in NSW as elsewhere are socio-economic changes which make Saturday voting at a local polling place less convenient than it once was.

"In response, legislators have made it progressively easier to cast an alternative vote, including introducing the iVote in NSW."

iVote was used by about six per cent of voters in 2015.

It's available to silent electors, those outside NSW on election day and those with other difficulties voting in person.

Voters need to register either online at ivote.nsw.gov.au or via phone at 1300 2 iVote to participate.

About 14.2 per cent of voters in 2015 pre-polled in person while about five per cent voted via the post, according to NSW Electoral Commission data.

Australian Associated Press