Voters go to the polls

Ross Fowler and John Thain handing out how-to-vote cards at the 2012 Election
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Polling places across the Penrith area have just opened as locals head to the polls to vote in a new-look Council.

Candidates and their teams have spent the night putting up posters and organising last minute campaign details ahead of today’s vote.

Polling places in each ward are open until 6pm tonight.

There’s interest and mystery in all wards, with results expected to be known by 9pm tonight.

In North Ward, Ross Fowler is expected to be re-elected along with long-time Labor councillor John Thain.

Kevin Crameri seeks re-election in North Ward with interest surrounding whether or not a scandal during his recent term as Mayor will have any impact on his vote.

South Ward has had many twists and turns already, with Mark Davies first pulling out of the race and then re-entering at the last minute. He is expected to be re-elected and may also get the second candidate on his ticket, sitting councillor Ben Goldfinch, across the line.

Jim Aitken and Karen McKeown are both expected to be re-elected but there’s some mystery over who will fill the fifth spot.

In East Ward, former State Liberal candidate Tricia Hitchen will attempt to secure a spot, as will Marko Malkoc who in the last week has aired significant allegations relating to his first term as a councillor.

Veteran councillor Jackie Greenow is expected to be re-elected along with outgoing Mayor Greg Davies.

But there’s uncertainty overall, with the Liberal vote likely to be split because of the decision by the party not to endorse candidates. They will run as independents, which is likely to add confusion to polling day.

It’s also not known how significant Labor’s poor performance at Federal and State level will impact the local Labor candidates.

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