The campaigning is over, the ballots have been cast and the counting has begun.
After a historic five-and-quarter years since the last Wagga City Council election, the city's ratepayers were yesterday given the chance to make their voice heard, and vote count, to determine our representatives for the next three years.
Given such a long lead-up time, after the state's council elections were postponed twice due to COVID-19, you would hope most ratepayers really thought about where their vote went on Saturday.
It's one thing to complain. It's another to do some research, make an informed decision and have a say.
As Wagga Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Lynne Bodell said earlier this week, this election 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.
The Daily Advertiser spent the best part of the past month working to profile each of the 43 people who put their names in the running. The majority (41 candidates) responded and we were able to present their ambitions, reveal their biggest issues and state why they should be elected to Wagga City Council.
This week, we also hit Wagga's Baylis Street to canvass the views of residents. Disappointingly, many of the people spoken to either weren't aware of the local government elections taking place across the state this weekend or didn't seem to care.
The importance of local government cannot be underestimated. Yes, the old adage of roads, rates and rubbish remains true, but our council - and its makeup of councillors - is so much more than that.
Wagga is growing rapidly and, with an ambitious population target of 100,000 people by 2038, it is important our council works to provide the necessary infrastructure and services to handle that growth.
Some of the issues raised by candidates were beyond the remit of local government, but that doesn't mean our council and its councillors should not be advocating for the state and federal governments to help make some projects a reality.
For now, we sit back and watch as the new-look team of Wagga councillors takes shape. The vote count began when the polling booths across the city closed at 6pm on Saturday.
Late on Saturday night, the Clean Out Council ticket led by Wagga Boat Club commodore Mick Henderson and the Labor ticket headed by Dan Hayes were out in front on first preferences.
Disappointingly, about 15 per cent of the 16,874 votes counted as of 10.30pm on Saturday were informal. It seems many voters either didn't fill out their ballots correctly, or simply didn't care enough to make their vote count.
There will be no counting on Sunday, with the initial count to continue on Monday. However, the official results probably won't be be confirmed until mid-December.
We'll be watching the count closely as it progresses and will bring you comprehensive coverage featuring the latest state of play and all the reaction this week.
Enjoy your Sunday and the week ahead.
Andrew Pearson - deputy editor
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.