Democracy sausages could be going cold on the barbecue this Election Day with millions of Australians preferring to cast their ballots early.
Hoping to keep the tradition strong, Yahoo News Australia spoke with DemocracySausage.org founder Annette Tyler about why this uniquely Aussie tradition is important.
She even revealed her nomination for the biggest snag fail of all time.
Every state and federal election, Ms Tyler's team asks the community groups fundraising with sausage sizzles to register on their website, so voters can seek out the food that’s right for them.
“One of the things we love about running the website is that on a day where it really is about divisions between parties, the democracy sausage is the one thing that kind of brings everyone together,” she said.
“Almost everyone gets on board with the democracy sausage… everyone has their differences, but most people are keen on democracy.”
What democracy sausages reveal about Australia
DemocracySausage.org started almost by accident prior to the 2013 West Australian state election.
Wanting a sausage before she voted, Ms Tyler sent out a social media post, asking those barbecuing at polling booths to use the democracy sausage hashtag.
Her friend then began plotting the offerings on a map, and the website was born from there, now operating with the help of seven experts plus volunteers.
The data Ms Tyler’s team captures each year reflects the changing face of Australia, with vegetarian, Halal and healthy options on the rise over the last nine years.
“I think one of the things we've noticed is that offerings are getting more elaborate,” Ms Tyler said.
“So it used to just be a sausage and bread and maybe some cupcakes, and now it’s also politically themed baked goods, democracy souvlaki and democracy halloumi rolls.”
Worst democracy sausage fail revealed
Press photographers are are always keen to snap politicians chowing into food.
Then Prime Minister Tony Abbott made world headlines after he unreasonably bit into a raw onion, while President Donald Trump was widely criticised for eating pizza with a knife and fork.
But it's Election Day in Australia that is a gold mine for awkward eating pictures, and a quick Google search will deliver horrifying pictures of party leaders stumbling to fit food in their mouths.
While politicians eating is seldom a pretty sight, there’s one person in particular who sticks in Ms Tyler’s mind when it comes to making a mess of it.
So bad was his attempt, her team felt compelled to make up a T-shirt about the incident, explaining “this is not the right way to eat a sausage”.
“Bill Shorten eating one from the middle (last election) springs to mind as the biggest democracy sausage fail,” Ms Tyler said.
“If you want an example of how not to do it, that’s it.”
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