Federal election 2019: Nearly 30 per cent of Canberrans have voted early

Just under 30 per cent of Canberrans have voted early in the federal election.

At close of business on Thursday, 84,951 Canberrans had cast a pre-poll ballot, according to numbers published by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Karen and Frank England voted in Canberra on day one of pre-polling. Picture: Jamila Toderas.

Karen and Frank England voted in Canberra on day one of pre-polling. Picture: Jamila Toderas.

The southern electorate of Bean has had the most voters turn out early to vote, with 30,417 ballots cast, just over 29 per cent of voters in the electorate.

In the division of Canberra, 26 per cent of voters, or 25,727 people, had voted early, while 28,807 voters had gone to the polls in Fenner in Canberra's north.

Thursday was the busiest day of pre-polling in the capital so far, with 11,614 Canberrans choosing to vote before Saturday.

On average, about 5300 Canberra voters have voted each day pre-polling has been open.

The Tuggeranong pre-polling centre has been Canberra's busiest, recording more than 16,000 votes since pre-polling opened on April 29.

Old Parliament House, where voters from all of Canberra's electorates can cast their ballots alongside interstate voters, has seen 4,140 ACT voters cast their ballots in the historic building in the pre-polling period.

The electoral commission has said the record number of early votes would delay election-night counting and could make it difficult to declare a winner on Saturday.

People queue to cast pre-poll votes at a polling booth at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) on Thursday afternoon. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

People queue to cast pre-poll votes at a polling booth at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) on Thursday afternoon. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

After the 2016 election, the parliamentary committee on electoral matters recommended pre-polling be limited to two weeks before the election.

The number of pre-poll votes cast has been increasing since 2010.

By Thursday night, 4.053 million Australians had voted, well past the 2016 election pre-poll record of 2.98 million early votes.

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