BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: Kath and Jim Nelson don their gloves ahead of entering the polling booths at Killarney.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: Kath and Jim Nelson don their gloves ahead of entering the polling booths at Killarney. Bianca Hrovat

Pandemic fears plague Southern Downs poll booths

PANDEMIC fears plagued the polls today as Southern Downs residents donned gloves, masks and cans of Glen 20 to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The local government elections went ahead despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plea for people to "stay home" and "flatten the curve".

It was a warning heeded by many residents, who took to the Daily News Facebook to declare they would not be voting in this election.

"This needs to be shut down immediately!" Jan-maree Caudell said.

Kath Nelson from Killarney said she almost gave up her vote for fear of the contagion.

"It's ridiculous they went ahead with the elections," she said.

"I wasn't going to come."

A last minute change-of-heart caused her to carefully select which polling station she'd attend, hoping it would be quiet.

Along with husband Jim, she wore gloves, brought her own pencil, and had antibacterial spray waiting for her in the car.

Electoral officials at Killarney practised stringent hygiene measures, wearing gloves, masks, and sanitising every surface between visits.

At Murray's Bridge, Kerry and Ken Nelson had also strategically planned their polling.

"It's absolutely ridiculous we still had to come out here," Mr Nelson said.

"But we left it to late in the afternoon so no one was here.

"We didn't have a choice."

Over in Warwick voter Karli Wells was left perplexed by the apparent lack of precaution at the voting booths.

"It really didn't seem that much different to how they usually do it," Ms Wells said.

"They should have just cancelled it, they need to minimise contact between people and this wasn't something that was that essential right now.

"Our government should have acted earlier."


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