ALMOST 20 percent of those enrolled in the federal electorate of Bendigo have already cast their vote ahead of Saturday's election.
With five days of pre-poll voting remaining, just 4000 fewer votes have been cast in the Bendigo electorate than for the entire pre-poll period of the 2016 election.
A total of 18.5 percent of electors had cast their vote at pre-poll voting centres at Bendigo, Golden Square and Castlemaine, as of close of business Saturday May 11.
In 2016, 24,867 people - or 22.7 percent of those enrolled - cast votes ahead of the election day.
George Pannell cast his vote at the Bendigo early voting centre on Monday, at the Mitchell Street early voting centre.
Mr Pannell voted because his mind was made up, and he might not be in town on Saturday.
It was the second election he had voted ahead of time, casting his vote early in the 2018 state election.
"I just made up my mind, so I decided to do it early," Mr Pannell said.
It was Robyn Spandonide's first time voting early. She chose to do so because her family had plans to see friends on Saturday.
"I want to get it over and done with," Ms Spandonide said.
"I thought it'd be nice and quick."
An average of 1139 people had cast their vote early each day at the Bendigo pre-poll voting centre over the 11 days it has been open.
In Golden Square, an average of 705 people had voted each day.
Read more: How pre-polling changes the campaign
An Australian Electoral Commission spokesperson said the rate of early voting had risen each election since 2007.
There has been a significant rise in those voting early in 2019, even compared to the 2016 election, the spokesperson said.
One in three Australians cast an early vote in 2016.
The spokesperson said there was clearly going to be more early voters in this federal election.
As of Saturday, 2.2 million people had cast an early vote.
In 2016, 1.2 million Australians had voted, the same length of time before election day.
Read more: How the Bendigo electorate shapes up
While there were eligibility criteria for early voting, the AEC allowed people to self-assess, the spokesperson said.
The AEC did not know why pre-poll voting had become so popular.
"The electoral commissioner is on record saying once people cast their vote, they seem to become a permanent early voter," the spokesperson said.
In the 2018 Victorian state election, 39 percent of those enrolled in Bendigo East cast pre-poll votes.
In Bendigo West 33.8 percent of those enrolled cast pre-poll votes.
Shop 45, Mitchell Street, assisted wheelchair access, open:
Castlemaine Town Hall, 25 Lyttleton Street, assisted wheelchair access, open:
Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, 113-123 Mackenzie Street West, assisted wheelchair access, open:
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