Council election: ‘I will pay your fine for not voting’

 

 

A GOLD Coast candidate is offering to pay the fines for the elderly who told him they are too afraid to vote tomorrow due to coronavirus.

Division 10 candidate and former councillor Eddy Sarroff today will announce his support for health-impacted retirees in his Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach super division.

"As you know I have been calling on the Electoral Commission of Queensland and State Government to reinstate postal voting for those who are concerned at attending a polling booth," Mr Sarroff told The Bulletin.

Pre-polling lines at the Southport Community Centre on Wednesday. Picture: Jerad Williams
Pre-polling lines at the Southport Community Centre on Wednesday. Picture: Jerad Williams

"Today I'm prepared to announce - that if elected - I will undertake to personally pay any fines imposed on those voters over 65 years in Division 10 who are not prepared to attend a polling booth on Saturday.

"I'm doing this after receiving numerous calls from senior citizens who are terrified about leaving their home to vote as well as concerned to cop a $133 fine."

Asked how many fines he might be required to pay, Mr Sarroff estimates up to 1000 people will not vote.

"I'm putting people first. Remember, this age group is familiar with me and have followed me through my 17 years and when I hear their concerns it leaves me with no other option.

 

 

Division 10 candidates, Eddy Sarroff. Picture: Jerad Williams.
Division 10 candidates, Eddy Sarroff. Picture: Jerad Williams.

Hopefully the Premier will hear my message and revert to postal rather than forcing people to the polling booth," Mr Sarroff said.

Other candidates are taking further precautions on polling day tomorrow.

Katrina Beikoff who is running against Councillor Daphne McDonald in Division 13 told The Bulletin: "I was looking forward to around 150 of my volunteers coming out on Saturday, election day to help you vote for me across Burleigh, Palm Beach, Tallebudgera and Elanora.

However, I have taken the decision in the interests of my volunteers' health and community health that I will have no volunteers assisting other than setting up and monitoring booths.

To do otherwise would, in my opinion, be irresponsible."

Division 13 candidate, Katrina Beikoff. Picture: Jerad Williams
Division 13 candidate, Katrina Beikoff. Picture: Jerad Williams

Division 10 candidate Darren Taylor in an election eve statement said the council must come together as a matter of urgency and formulate a plan to work with businesses, charity organisations, community groups and residents to navigate through the pandemic.

"There is now pressure on everyone in our community that will force more people to the streets creating crime, diminishing health and a new wave of mental health problems.

It is an unprecedented global pandemic and a challenge for the new look council, the Gold Coast need councillors that have worked at ground level and understand the challenges of it's residents, small business and community," he said.

Candidate for Division 10 Darren Taylor. Picture: Jerad Williams
Candidate for Division 10 Darren Taylor. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mr Taylor said it was "hypocritical" to be asking Coast residents to vote when federal messages are telling everyone to stay home at all cost.

"Gold Coasters have the ability vote via phone in addition option should be to extend postal voting. I don't understand why the health of everyone is not more important than an election outcome. This election result can wait," he said.

Originally published as 'I will pay your fine for not voting'


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