Meter maids, polo player, ballerina add to Qld votes colour

AMONG the millions of Queenslanders who turned up at polling booths to vote today were people dressed as Storm Troopers from Star Wars, a teenage ballerina in a tutu casting her first vote and polo players on horseback.

The vote for Queensland's 56th Parliament was a colourful exercise in democracy.

It was a historic day for elections in the state with the opening of the first two drive-through polling booths in a Queensland ballot - part of a pilot project aimed at making voting easier for the elderly and disabled.

Democracy drive-through booths were set up at the Cleveland Baptist Church, in the newly named seat of Oodgeroo in Brisbane's southeast, and at the Tewantin TAFE campus in the Noosa electorate on the Sunshine Coast.

Gold Coast meter maids Felicia Aden and Camille Shakespeare cast a vote at Surfers Paradise State School. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Gold Coast meter maids Felicia Aden and Camille Shakespeare cast a vote at Surfers Paradise State School. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Electoral Commission returning officer for Oodgeroo, Mandy Heinrich, said the drive-through concept had been met with "much praise and gratitude", particularly from people who relied on wheely-walkers or wheelchairs to get around. A few zipped in on their mobility scooters.

"It's made the whole process so much easier for them," Ms Heinrich said.

She said women with young children had also taken advantage of the drive-through, some of them voting with sleeping babies in the backseat of the car.

Surfers Liam Egan and Dave Lauchs work their way through a sea of Party volunteers to vote in the State of Election after enjoying most of the day in the water at Alexandra Headland. Picture: Lachie Millard
Surfers Liam Egan and Dave Lauchs work their way through a sea of Party volunteers to vote in the State of Election after enjoying most of the day in the water at Alexandra Headland. Picture: Lachie Millard

Rebecca Euston cast her vote with five-year-old daughter Addison still strapped in her car seat after her Saturday dancing class.

"I was driving past and I thought I'll just duck in," Ms Euston said. "It's great. It's quicker."

Two Australian polo team players, Morgan Ruig and Bill Taylor, rode about 500 metres on horseback from Dorrington Park at Ashgrove in Brisbane's west, to the Oakleigh State School polling booth in the electorate of Ferny Grove.

Erin O'Rourke for the first time.
Erin O'Rourke for the first time.

Mr Ruig and Mr Taylor were playing in the Polo in the City tournament but made sure they cast their votes despite their sporting commitment.

Carrying their mallets, they weren't the only unusual sights at polling booths yesterday.

Erin O'Rourke, 18, was probably the most graceful of the state's three million-plus voters.

The QUT student, who is studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance, turned up in her ballet gear to vote for the first time at McDowall State School in the northern Brisbane seat of Aspley.

Cricket fans Rachelle Jones, Luke smith, Luke Eccles, Jake Lacey and Lloyd Smith voting at East Brisbane State School before going into the Gabba. Picture: Peter Wallis
Cricket fans Rachelle Jones, Luke smith, Luke Eccles, Jake Lacey and Lloyd Smith voting at East Brisbane State School before going into the Gabba. Picture: Peter Wallis

"It was really exciting," she said.

The polling booth with the most eclectic group of voters was arguably at East Brisbane State School, adjacent to the Gabba, in Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's seat of South Brisbane, under threat from Greens candidate Amy McMahon.

Polo players Morgan Ruig and Bill Taylor arrive at Oakleigh State School to vote. Picture: Peter Wallis
Polo players Morgan Ruig and Bill Taylor arrive at Oakleigh State School to vote. Picture: Peter Wallis

Test cricket tragics, some dressed as Storm Troopers, others lathered in green and gold zinc cream for the Australia team- not necessarily in support of the Greens - took the opportunity to pop in to vote before taking in day three of the Test cricket match against England.



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