Fremantle president Steve Harris has urged club members who are eligible to vote in the annual directors election to exercise their right, claiming early reports from the club's online polling company has indicated a sluggish response.

The election had shaped as one of the more contentious in Fremantle's short history, because the board is currently weighing the pros and cons of a shift of the training base to Cockburn, versus the establishment of a new training facility at the club's spiritual home at Fremantle Oval.

At least one candidate, public relations consultant Chris Lewis, has based his decision to stand on a Keep Freo in Freo campaign.

Lewis is one of six candidates in the election.

The others are Kate Grieve, who is seeking a further term on the board, former club captain Peter Mann, Murray Browne, John Vojkovich and John Garland.

Harris urged Fremantle members to use the election to "engage" with the club.

"Although we have 43,000 members we have 24,000 eligible voting members," he said. "If you look at the 2010 election we had 1700 people vote and in the 2008 election we had 1100 people vote. When we held the online poll for the club song we had 8700 people vote.

"It is a great opportunity for people to engage with the club and have a say as to who is on the board.

"While as president I look at the low numbers and think well I am reassured there is no great issue out there that means that people are rising up en masse and voting, it is still a good opportunity.

"It is part of being a member of Fremantle. It is unique.

"It is part of Fremantle's character so it would be great if more people went online and voted. It is not hard to do. Go online and vote."

Members can vote on the club's website or can obtain postal vote applications from Computershare.

Voting closes on November 26 ahead of the club's annual members meeting on November 27.

Harris said early indications from Computershare were that the number of voters was running at similar levels to the low numbers in 2008 and 2010.

"If we get 1500 out of 24,000 that is not huge and I would like people to engage with the club more so that they feel they have had a say in electing people who are responsible for the club's direction," he said.

Harris dismissed the notion that a single issue like the location of the club's training base would decide the election or put pressure on the club over its decision on whether to remain in Fremantle or shift to Cockburn.

The West Australian

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