Minds made up: thousands cast an early vote at pre-poll

Mr Blakester said along with the length of pre-polling, digital voting had to be considered.

"With the technology at our disposal, we are able to move massive sums of money securely, but we are still using this 19th century system to vote," he said.

Mr Blakester has been popping in to pre-polling booths whenever possible, but has been focusing more on "forums and meet-and greet events".

"I'm not trying to convince anyone in 30 seconds," Mr Blakester said.

"I'm after that more substantial discussion, so we can really talk about the issues."

Minds made up: thousands cast an early vote at pre-poll

THE federal election is still 10 days away, but thousands of New England residents have already made their mind up and cast an early vote. As of Tuesday, more than 7600 people - or about 7 per cent of the electorate - had visited one of the region's pre-polling booths, and that number is expected to rise rapidly to more than 30 per cent by election day on May 18.