So many of my friends think that the job finishes the day after the election and they are always surprised that I'm still not available for my usual activities.
But every bundle of ballot papers from all of the polling booths is check counted...as are those votes taken in booths in other wards (Absents) as well as the pre poll votes. The postal votes' envelopes are all processed/scanned, the flaps with details are separated from the envelopes, then these are opened and the votes counted...twice. All these amount to thousands and thousands! Everything is made into bundles of 50, so over the week you count from 1 to 50 many, many times. :-)
I spent many an hour with the scanner so I could mark off postal voters...
The rubber thimble was my 'best mate' while flipping through bundles of ballot papers...
It was fun seeing where some of the postal votes came from too...
But some Aussies also put stamps on their envelopes, so I have a nice little number of stamps to pass on at church. ( the Anglican Church raises money for missions by selling on used stamps; in 2014 we raised $10 000 this way, so every little bit counts. )
And all that cardboard that an election generates!
Members of the public often express concern that pencils are used to record votes instead of biros. They are of the opinion that pencil marks can be rubbed out easily. At the pre poll centre some voters actually expressed the opinion that office staff open the ballot boxes out of hours and erase people's votes and change the choice. Huh??? Really ???
But the reality was quite different. Every night during the pre poll fortnight, those red ballot boxes, have the top flap zipped up so that the slot is covered and secure, and a lock with a serial number is attached and witnessed on the accompanying paperwork. And a similar system is used on the cardboard boxes too...and a similar routine happens when those security flaps are opened with the witnesses checking numbers on the lock tab etc.
And in the last few days I worked, I helped pack up some of the items used by polling booth staff when issuing votes.
The view looking out the front doors of the building.