Thousands of Wagga residents have already cast their votes ahead of the local government election, but it is still expected to be a busy and crowded day at the city's polling centres on Saturday.
Lynne Bodell, the secretary of the Wagga Residents and Ratepayers Association said this weekend's vote was long overdue and crucial to the city's future.
"This election is extremely important and this is the public's opportunity to have their say and not just wait and complain after the horse has already bolted," Dr Bodell said.
Voting in the election is compulsory. There will be 20 polling centres open from 8am tomorrow. Residents will be choosing which nine candidates they want to represent the community on Wagga City Council for the next three years.
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Just over 40 names have put themselves forward for a spot at the table, including a combination of current councillors, former candidates and fresh faces.
Most have chosen to run in groups with like-minded candidates, however five are running as individuals.
Wagga residents also have to vote in a mayoral referendum, which will decide if the city moves to a popularly-elected mayoral system.
When Wagga heads to the polling booths, residents will have the choice of voting above or below the line.
By voting above the line, residents are choosing to vote for groups and will have their preferences distributed in the order each group has chosen.
Voting below the line allows residents to select the specific candidates they wish to be elected and preference them however they wish.
The voting will close and counting will begin from 6pm but Marjorie Kenna, the returning officer for Wagga, said the results of the election would probably not be confirmed until mid-December.
"The booths will all return the votes to the returning office on Saturday night and then [after the initial counting] we will start entering it all in the computers next week," she said.
"They anticipate we will have it all done in mid-December but maybe a bit earlier or maybe later."
The results of the election will be updated progressively on the NSW Electoral Commission website as they are counted. Ms Kenna said it was "more than likely" residents would have a good idea of who had made it before the counting was finalised.
According to the returning officer, many residents have already cast their ballots at the city's two pre-polling centres over the past two weeks.
"There has been a few thousand, quite a few thousand actually and it's getting busier as we're going along," she said.
Despite the early turnout, Ms Kenna is anticipating a busy Saturday and warned residents to come prepared to help smooth the process.
"Bring your own pen, bring a mask and, depending on how hot it is, bring a hat because you might have to stand in the sun," she said.
"Be patient because with COVID, we'll have queues. We'll get through them as fast as we can but just follow the rules and that will make everything smoother."
There will be COVID protocols in place at the polling booths, including sign-ins and social distancing, however all residents will be allowed to enter regardless of their vaccination status.
Dominic O'Sullivan, a professor of political science at Charles Sturt University, said this election would carry an "extra significance" considering the delays and previous extended term.
"There will be a lot of people who have missed out on having their say who will find this election especially important as a chance to have their voices heard," Professor O'Sullivan said.
The ratepayers association's Dr Bodell echoed this sentiment and encouraged residents to ensure they were aware of all the candidates and their policies, and not simply throwing their vote away.
"Look into the people who are running, read the profiles that were in the paper and also watch the video of the meet the candidates forum we hosted, which is on Facebook," she said.
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