Scenic Rim residents exercise their democratic rights in the state election

BY 6pm today, thousands of Scenic Rim residents will have hit the polls to cast their votes in the 2020 state government election.

Polls at Beaudesert State School and St Mary's were quiet this morning, with record numbers of voters heading to the polls before election day and nearly one million Queenslanders opting to receive postal votes.

The polling station at Kooralbyn saw a burst of activity as voting opened, with many getting in early to avoid the severe thunderstorms forecast for later in the day.

Paul Henselin and Jon Krause made an appearance in Beaudesert, with campaign supporters for Pietro Agnoletto and Luz Stanton also in attendance handing out how to vote cards.

This comes on the heels of the March council election, held during the height of COVID-19 in Queensland, which saw more than half of Queenslanders voting or arranging to vote before election day.

Some virus-fearing residents at the time said they would rather receive a fine than risk heading to the polls.

More than seven months later, COVID-19 is still on the minds of voters and officials, with hygiene and social distancing measures in place at all polling stations.

The number of people opting to vote via post has tripled to about 900,000 since the 2017 state election.

Almost half had been returned by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission of Queensland reported that early voting numbers during the first week of pre-polling had smashed previous state records.

By Thursday, the second-last day of pre-polling, more than 1 million Queenslanders had cast their vote.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said COVID-19 was a clear factor in early voting numbers, but there was also a growing trend towards voting before election day.

"In the 2015 Queensland general election 19 per cent of 2.7 million electors voted early, and in 2017 it was 26 per cent," he said.

"The 2020 local government election saw early voting numbers jump to around 50 percent of electors who voted."

After being missing from the council elections, the democracy sausage has made a welcome return to some polling places, although there was not a sizzle to be seen around Beaudesert.