Whether it was the lure of a sausage or the chance to participate in democracy in their own backyards, in Braidwood, Karabar, Jerrabomberra, Majors Creek and beyond voters headed into polling booths on Saturday.
At the Braidwood Central School a steady trickle of voters came in to cast their first vote as past of the newly amalgamated Queanbeyan-Palerang local government area.
Conversations among voters in Braidwood inevitably turned to the need for the town to have a strong Braidwood focused presence on the 11 body council.
“To me what is important to Braidwood is that we start to get somebody interested in Braidwood,” resident Richard Jolley said.
In Queanbeyan candidates took the opportunities to hand out how to vote cards and talk about their communities.
Candidate Dr Mike Kelly said he hoped the council would be a combination of open minded people with a “vision for Queanbeyan -Palerang”.
“The previous council was very difficult to work with in terms of getting good results for our town.”
With a ‘Team QBN’ shirt and a school captain jersey from his days at Queanbeyan High School, candidate Kenrick Winchester was out and about showing some town pride.
By 6pm sausage sizzles had wrapped, booths closed down and counting commenced.
Slowly but surely the count was well and truly underway.
As parties and candidates wound down for post poll dinner and drinks, eyes inevitably drifted back to screens as the count stacked up.
By 11pm at night when counting had wrapped up it was not clear who would make the council.
However, with over half the votes counted, things looked promising for Group A, headed by former Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall.
As of 11pm, the group had received 5,821 first preference votes.
Country Labor received 2,508 first preference votes, Group B, headed by Trevor Hicks, received first preference 1,867 votes, Group F, headed by Kenrick Winchester, received 1,829 first preference votes, the Liberal Group received 1,732 first preference votes and the Greens group received 1,080 first preference votes.
Of the 20,506 votes counted, 2,256 were deemed informal.
Counting will resume on Sunday.