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A high-profile Australian political journalist has admitted he forgot to cast his vote in the 2022 election, and not many people were impressed.
During Channel 10's live coverage as the votes were being counted early in the evening on Saturday, Peter van Onselen turned to Sandra Sully with his shocking admission.
"Sandra, I just realised I forgot to vote," he said.
"What!" the panel exclaimed, almost in unison. Jan Fran and Hugh Rimmington looked shocked by what just came out of Mr van Onselen's mouth.
"I have to pay the fine," he said casually.
This year, Mr van Onselen has picked Labor to win 76 seats and claim a victory over the Coalition, however, when he was asked, he refused to say who he was going to vote for.
However, he said this year, he was in a seat that "mattered" with an Independent up against a Liberal.
There were jokes Mr van Onselen's electorate of Wentworth could come down to a single vote.
"Well if it's a one-vote difference between Dave Sharma and Allegra Spender then I'll know I could have solidified it by doubling the majority or switched it to a by-election," he said.
Wentworth, a blue-ribbon seat in Sydney's east is held by Mr Sharma, but only with a margin of 1.3 per cent and is under threat from so-called "teal" independent Allegra Spender.
Wentworth is one of a number of seats in NSW at risk of falling to teal independents, who are trying to snatch away disaffected Liberal voters at Saturday's election.
Waleed Aly then jokingly asked if Mr van Onselen would be okay to pay the fine, which is $20 initially, but if you ignore it, the amount grows and you could potentially end up in court.
"There are exemptions you can get around, but I'm not sure I'll do that now I have announced it on television," Mr van Onselen said.
— Carmel Hards..💉💉💉💉😷 (@albsie) May 21, 2022
People were not too impressed that Mr van Onselen, a political journalist, neglected to vote in the election. One person said it was "embarrassing", another said it was appalling.
"It’s not like this date wasn’t set months ago. And I hate to break it to you, it’s an offence, that’s recorded," another person said on Twitter.
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