The round trip to vote took about 1 hour and 45 minutes, according to my phone’s tracker. That included a few breaks along the way to rest, to have a coffee, and to enjoy a democracy sausage.
Normally, the round trip to Bourke Street Primary School to vote takes about 30 minutes, including waiting in line. Anticipating a longer turn around time due to my disability/prosthetic leg, I knew it would be slower. Also I live in Surry Hills, which is known for its hills, so I took it easy and took my time. I also wanted to make sure I had enough energy for the important task of voting.
I had applied for a postal vote in anticipation of not having the energy to go to the polling booth, but the anticipation of a democracy sausage and the desire to physically participate in this important event in our country’s history gave me the motivation to get up, grab my crutches, and head to the school.
“The footpath is vastly improved from what it was like in the 90s,” I told one of the Electoral Commission workers. She had also lived in the area for over 20 years, and we shared some anecdotes about the neighborhood changes as I sat and took a break after arriving at the polling booth.
Nonetheless, there were some uneven parts of the footpath, lots of potentially slippery leaves on the ground, lots of people with children and dogs, and there was one part of the journey where I chose the road over the footpath.
In our neighbourhood, there were mostly people handing out how-to-vote cards for the “Yes” campaign. Our area is overwhelmingly progressive, as reflected in the recognized voting patterns. There were two people handing out how-to-vote cards for the “No” campaign. From my observation, the bloke handing out for the “No” campaign spent most of his time on his phone. “An Aboriginal woman walked past and called him a racist, and he called the police,” one of the “Yes” campaign volunteers told me.
As I grabbed my democracy sausage, I noticed “Treaty” by Yothu Yindi was playing on the sound system. Yeah, I think it’s a “Yes” from my part of the country.
Over 70% yes vote in the federal electorate of Sydney, according to the Australian Electoral Commission https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/ReferendumDivisionResults-29581-149.htm and at my polling booth it was 1,499 yes (74.4%), 375 no, and 24 informal.