Handful of people attend ballot draw
Only a handful of people, including five of the eight candidates standing for the Federal seat of Robertson, turned up to witness one of the steps of democracy in action - choosing the ballot list order for the election on May 18.
Media advisors to the major party candidates, journalists and five candidates turned up to watch the process on Wednesday, April 24, in a small office in Mann St, Gosford.
It involved an employee of the Australian Electoral Commission reading out what she was about to do and then us watching as she did exactly as she said she would.
The process was repeated across the country in each electorate with the same script being followed and starting at exactly noon.
Eight wooden balls were put into a wire cage and the handle turned.
The people in the room were asked if they too wanted to turn the handle.
I volunteered and turned the handle of democracy.
A second Australian Electoral officer sat behind the cage, with a black mask over her face. She pulled the numbers out of the cage and handed them to a third employee who declared the numbers.
The first name out of the barrel won the coveted first place on the ballot paper, commonly believed to favour the so-called donkey vote.
As a result of the draw, the ballot paper will have the names in this order:
Judy Singer, Sustainable Australia.
Robert Marks, United Australia Party.
Fiona Stucken, Christian Democrat Party, Fred Nile Group.
David Abrahams, independent.
Luck Wicks, Liberal.
Cath Conner, Greens
Sean Young, Animal Justice Party.
Anne Charlton, ALP.
Sitting Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks said it was important people knew who they were voting for and why.
Mr David Abrahams said he couldn't complain: four was his lucky number.
Greens candidate Ms Cath Connor said it was nice to have the official part of the proceedings done.
"We are now off and running," she said.
Australian Electoral Office, 24 April 2019
Reporter: Merilyn Vale