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Photos by Thomas Sargeant.
5:00pm: A final rush of voters are now voting for the day as students leave Fisher library and 5pm classes
4:15pm: Campaigning today will continue for another hour until the JFR booth closes at 5:15pm. In the meantime, enjoy a selection of photos live from the campaign trail.
3:53pm: A ‘stooge’ in stupol terms is someone who speaks to campaigners with the sole purpose of wasting their time, often for extended periods while their own faction scoops up the votes that now lie uncontested.
Unsurprisingly, Honi can confirm that there are plenty of stooges on the campaign trail so far. Stooging is a job that can be done by even those who are not eligible to vote, so larger factions most often have members available for this task.
Telltale signs of a stooge: they have plenty of stupol knowledge yet are apparently open to vote for anyone, they prompt you to make your case against multiple other campaigners, and they are willing to spend plenty of time with you before crossing over the line.
Campaigners beware (or be inspired)!
2:03pm: All is (mostly) quiet on Eastern Avenue. Besides a sparse showing of Left Action and Student Left Alliance campaigners, the normally bustling thoroughfare is safe from the SRC election for today.
With JFR as the only polling booth open today, the concentration of campaigners around the area is particularly high. Today’s battlefield for most voters and campaigners begins as most good stories do: on the Redfern run.
The boardwalk from Redfern into campus heats up around Ralph’s cafe, where numerous Switch, Groots, and Left Action campaigners are giving many students their first taste of an in-person campaign. Campaigners then have the unenviable challenge of safely escorting them all the way to the polling booth itself without being contested by other factions.
‘Contesting’ a vote is when campaigners from two different factions attempt to speak to the same voter, often resulting in heated arguments. Without a presidential election this year nor the inclusion of contestation being noted in any preference deals between left-wing factions, contestation is notably high compared to the most recent in-person election in 2019.
As the Redfern run approaches JFR, campaigners are met with their worst enemy (besides each other) — JFR Stairs. USyd stupol’s very own Heartbreak Hill, campaigners must balance the challenges of explaining what the SRC is, arguing their own policies, and not running out of breath. Opportunistic campaigners will wait at the top of these stairs to contest votes at the last minute.
This is where campaigners reach their final hurdle: the line. By the last few metres between the JFR stairs and the polling booth itself, the voter must be convinced that it is worth voting, and also fend off other factions seeking to contest votes. Once a voter is successfully over the line, there’s nothing campaigners can do besides move on to the next voter.
1:21pm: As a reminder for interpreting our exit polling data, JFR is the only booth open today. Factions that may appear to be lagging behind so far such as Engineers, Artistry and Colleges are likely to gain ground when polling booths closer to their stomping grounds are open tomorrow and on Wednesday — these locations include PNR and Charles Perkins Centre tomorrow, and the Conservatorium of Music on Wednesday.
10:47am: A Student Left Alliance campaigner has been cautioned by the returning officer for encroaching on the exclusion zone.
For those who may not be familiar due to a couple years of online campaigning, the exclusion zone is the area inside of a voting booth marked out with black tape.
No campaigning can take place inside a voting booth, including speaking across the line or wearing a campaign shirt inside. A violation of this rule constitutes a breach of the electoral regulations.
This is what is meant by walking a voter “over the line” – campaigning to them right until the final hurdle. Intense contestation of votes often occurs right at the line.
9am: polling has started! Honi is on the ground ready to bring you updates from the campaign trail.
Disclaimer: Zara Zadro was, until recently, a member of Switch, Zara Zadro is not involved in the coverage of the 2022 SRC, NUS, Honi Soit and President elections.