Polling booths have opened with the first votes of today’s election currently being cast. Ballot boxes will close at 6pm for counting to begin.
It comes after six weeks of hard campaigning from the Coalition and Labor.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese both began their mornings in Melbourne for last-minute campaigning, and they will later head to Sydney to cast their vote in their own electorates.
More than six million Australians have cast their vote early, via pre-poll or postal voting.
With the record number of early votes, the result of the federal election may not be known tonight as it takes time to count postal votes.
There were concerns polling centres would be unable to open due to staff shortages, particularly in regional parts of the country.
The Australian Electoral Commission said overnight all positions have been filled and the 76 polling booths in regional Australia which were at risk of not opening will be running today.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said on Friday it has been a “mammoth” effort to fill all the positions.
“If election day begun at 7pm tonight, every single one of the 7000 polling places we’ve planned for would open its doors,” Rogers said.
“While this is extraordinary, it is a pandemic election.
Rogers added that some polling booths may end up closing today if the workers lined up for the regional centres do not turn up.
“If some of the small number of people we’ve lined up to work at a local voting centre withdraw on the morning of the election, we may not have back-ups available in that town,” he said.