Wedding ring cast with ballot paper

A Latrobe Valley woman has made an extra contribution to democracy while voting early in Traralgon.

On Monday at the Rocla Road pre-polling centre, the woman’s wedding ring slipped off into the ballot box along with her voting paper and cannot legally be retrieved until Saturday night.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s Gippsland divisional returning officer David Wakely said each ballot box contained about 1000 votes and opening one prior to the election would put all of those votes at risk of not being counted.

The ballot box sits in a secure storage facility at Sale, now specially marked for quick access.

“It’ll be one of the first boxes we open,” Mr Wakely said.

“I’ll be present to make sure the ring is extracted, I’m sure she’ll be keen for a call from us.”

Mr Wakely said similar incidents happened “somewhere in the country” each election.

“We recommend people use their right hand to vote,” he said.

As of close of business Wednesday, 14,000 people had voted early in the seat of Gippsland.