Slow vote count tipped for Victoria election

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The results of Victoria’s state election could be delayed as the Victorian Electoral Commission braces for a slower-than-normal vote count.

VEC director of communications Sue Lang said four million Victorians were registered to vote and about half voted early, which could spell trouble.

“The problem that that creates for us a little bit is that because we took so many votes in the early voting centers, where they have to be counted, tomorrow we will have 1700 voting centers that will be staffed to count 2 million votes. Mrs. Lang told TSTIME radio on Friday morning.

“But we have 155 early voting centers that have to count 2 million votes. So that could actually slow down the count for us on Saturday night.

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The VEC aims to count 75 percent of the votes over the weekend, the absent votes are then sorted into the correct districts and counted next week.

About 600,000 votes were mailed, but only 270,000 were returned.

Votes by mail must be submitted by 6pm Saturday night to be eligible.

Ms Lang said the VEC should not start counting votes until 6pm on Saturday.

Victoria’s major parties gave voters just over 48 hours to calculate the numbers on their policy costs before polls close on election day.

Labour’s financial statement, released on Thursday, shows the party forecasting a budget surplus of $1 billion for the 2025/26 financial year – $135 million more than forecast in the pre-election budget update.

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However, according to the coalition’s budget impact statement, the state is projected to return to a modest surplus of $2.1 billion by 2024/25, a full fiscal year ahead of Labour, under its plan.

In total, Labor’s electoral initiatives amount to $8.24 billion, including $1.6 billion for jobs, $4 billion for health, $2 billion for transport, $934 million for education and $275 million for fairness.

The coalition also pledged to fund its 94 pledges with financial implications by diving into continency cash instead of new taxes.

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The coalition’s election pledges would cost about $28 billion.

Their budget document outlines that the Liberal Nationals would take $10.2 billion from the Victoria’s Future Fund to more quickly pay down mounting government debt, saving $775 million in interest payments over projected estimates.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews broke with the tradition of voting early and posted a photo of himself voting with his wife Catherine and two of his children.

“Like so many other Victorians we have a few things to do on Saturday so we voted early and are on our way to somewhere else,” he tweeted Thursday night.

– MONKEY

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