LOWER HUNTER voters have streamed through pre-poll voting centres and helped set new national records for early voting.
The Australian Electoral Commission announced yesterday that more than four million votes had been cast nationally at early voting centres before the last day of pre-poll voting on Friday. More than 533,000 people voted at early voting centres on Thursday alone.
The overall amount far exceeds the 2.55 million votes cast at the same stage of pre-poll voting in the 2016 federal election.
The popularity of pre-poll voting has risen in the Lower Hunter as well.
The amount of votes cast at the Newcastle and Charlestown pre-poll voting centres before Friday was up on the same period in 2016.
At the Newcastle pre-poll voting centre, which accepts votes for the Newcastle and Shortland electorates, more than 13,200 votes were cast before Friday. That was about 3000 more than at the same time in 2016.
Close to 2000 were expected to be cast on Friday.
At the Charlestown pre-poll voting centre, which accepts votes for Newcastle, Shortland and Hunter, more than 14,000 votes had been cast before Friday.
The figure was about 2000 more than at the same time of the 2016 election.
About 1600 visited the centre on Thursday, a number that was expected to be exceeded on Friday.
"I think it's the best thing ever," voter Ben Moore said at Charlestown on Friday.
"It's a great idea, I do it all the time."