Kanye West, Jimi Hendrix & Donald Trump Score Votes In Qld Council Elections

21 March 2016 | 3:41 pm | Staff Writer

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This past weekend, Queenslanders went to the polls across the state to vote on local councils and mayors, as well as the introduction of four-year fixed terms.

Although the elections were not shy on unexpected results — for example, despite early polls indicating the four-year proposition would not pass, Sunshine State pollies will soon enjoy the same length of term as the rest of their contemporaries around the country (but without the same accountability, as Qld is also the only state without an upper house) — some were a little more unexpected than others.

For example, as Fairfax reports, it probably wasn't a given, going into Saturday's election, that US rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West would end up with votes. Nor deceased guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Or presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Or Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston. Or even ex-PM Kevin Rudd.

Yet all five figures did indeed receive the stamp of approval from some Queenslanders, with Electoral Commission Queensland electoral commissioner Dermot Tiernan telling the ABC that 'informal voting' sitting about 0.8 to 0.5 percentage points higher than average, hitting three per cent this year.

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"Generally we like to target 2.2 to 2.5, so we're a bit above that, which means we've got a bit of work to do with the Queensland community," he said. "There are a lot of reasons for that. There are people who get artistic on the day."

One Logan-based vote-counter, who gave his name as George, told Fairfax he had seen about 50 voters who had written words to the effect of "I really didn't want to vote", as well as "six votes for Jimi Hendrix [and] at least eight votes for Donald Trump". 

"They went to the effort to draw boxes," he said.

"The number of ballots with comments written on them was unreal."

Thurston's 'votes' came from the far north (not surprising), where Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill remains incumbent, while Yeezy picked up "at least one of the more than 3000 informal votes" in the Toowoomba region, Fairfax reports.