THE first votes have been cast in the 2022 federal election for the seat of Bendigo.
Early voting commenced today, with sites in Mitchell Street Bendigo and at the Kangaroo Flat Gateway Function Centre now open for eligible voters to have their say on who should represent the region in the next federal parliament.
Additional early voting centres will open next week at the Bendigo Anglican Cathedral Hall (St Paul's) and at St Mary's Hall in Castlemaine.
The Australian Electoral Commission says early voting is available to those on the electoral roll who on Saturday, May 21 expect to be outside the electorate where they are enrolled to vote, will be more than 8km from a polling place, are travelling or unable to leave their workplace to vote, are seriously ill, infirm or due to give birth shortly (or caring for someone who is), or who are a patient in hospital and can't vote at the hospital.
Early voting is also available for those who have religious beliefs that prevent them from attending a polling place, are a silent elector or who have a reasonable fear for your safety or wellbeing.
There are seven candidates contesting the seat of Bendigo, held by the ALP's Lisa Chesters.
Ms Chesters retained the seat in 2019 with a two-candidate preferred margin of 59.04 per cent of the vote over Liberal candidate Sam Gayed, a result that represented a 5.17 per cent swing to the ALP.
More than 15,000 registered voters turned out early for the 2019 federal election in Bendigo.
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