AN INDEPENDENT and a minority party candidate have drawn the top spot on ballot papers in Bendigo’s two state electorates.
The draw was delayed in Victorian Electoral Commission offices across the state, but the computerised process was quick to come to a result once it got underway.
In Bendigo East where six candidates are registered, independent and late entry Michael Belardinelli draw the first position on the paper, followed by Liberals’ Ian Ellis, Democratic Labour’s Helen Leach, Labor’s Jacinta Allan, Greens’ Nakita Thomson and Nationals’ Gaelle Broad.
In Bendigo West, Animal Justice Party candidate Marilyn Nuske is first on the paper followed by Liberals’ Kevin Finn, Labor’s Maree Edwards and Greens’ Laurie Whelan.
Mr Belardinelli wasn’t at the draw but later told the Bendigo Weekly he hoped would attract votes because of his policies, not from donkey voters.
Informal votes where voters number from top to bottom is understood to account for up to 5 per cent of votes.
An electoral office on McIvor Highway opposite the All Seasons, which has disabled access from the rear of the building, and one in Hargreaves Street will open on Monday for the start of early voting ahead of the poll on November 24.
It is understood the VEC expects half of the electoral will vote in the two weeks leading up to the election date.