The Victorian Electoral Commission’s choice of building for its temporary election office stood its first test yesterday and came up somewhat wanting.
The location of the site on Benalla Rd offers limited parking, shares its building with several other businesses and has few public transport options.
Attendees reported several near misses in the car park as the office opened for pre-polling.
Unlike former years, an excuse is no longer needed to vote early, leading to predictions of a 50 per cent turnout prior to election day.
Due to the changes, it should have been easy to anticipate the need for an accessible VEC office with decent parking and easy access to public transport.
VEC management claims to have had difficulty sourcing the required 600sqm premises. There are several empty shopfronts in the Maude St CBD that appear to meet this requirement.
All the major candidates have secured CBD shopfronts. One has taken over an entire bank.
Inadequate access to the VEC office will it make it difficult for some to exercise their vote before election day.
It is to be hoped the relative difficulty of accessing the chosen site does not deter anyone from voting.