The largest counting centre in West Australian history is being created for the March 9 State election as the Electoral Commission prepares for a 30 per cent increase in postal votes.
An area of 7600 square metres is being prepared in the inner Perth suburb of Northbridge where 1300 staff will handle up to three million votes.
WA Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately says technicians have installed nine kilometres of data, telephone and electrical lines throughout the centre to service 200 computers feeding tally information to the commission’s central server system.
The writ for the March 9 election was received on Wednesday and the candidate nomination period will close at midday next Friday, he said.
The Commission predicts a total of 350,000 declaration votes, including postal, absent and provisional ballots - an increase of 30 per cent from the 2008 poll.
“It’s a national trend and it seems West Aussies are on the move and are finding it more difficult to make it to a polling place on election day,” Mr Gately said.
In total, 6.4 million ballot papers will be printed to cover ordinary and absent vote lodgment.
The Commission says 794 polling places will operate on election day, employing more than 7600 casual staff.
The polling places will include 85 remote locations, six major mine sites and 242 special institutions such as retirement homes.