FOR thousands of people across the region, it's their preferred way to vote, but the NSW Nationals say the pre-polling period is too long.
The party pledged to push for a week-long pre-polling period for state, federal and local government elections, after a grassroots movement from its members.
The number of people pre-polling has been increasing rapidly at all tiers of government elections.
Earlier this year, more than a third of Tamworth electorate's voters pre-polled for the NSW election, rising from 28.9 per cent of residents in 2015 to 34.5 per cent in 2019.
About 40 per cent of Gunnedah's residents voted early, with almost 4000 people visiting a pre-polling booth - an increase of 1000 from the previous election. In Tamworth alone, just shy of 13,700 voted early.
The early voting period has also been getting longer - earlier this year, Parkes' pre-polling opened three weeks before the federal election.
Historically, pre-polling favours incumbent politicians but, despite this, Tamworth Nationals branch chairman Ian Coxhead is one of the many party members who believe the early voting period needs to be reduced.
"You'd think the Nationals would want a longer pre-polling period," Mr Coxhead said.
"In reality, it is an inconvenience to volunteers and a lot of things can happen in the final days of a campaign that need to be properly considered before voting.
"It is just too long. I think it does need to come back to a week. We really need to get back to what pre-polling is all about. We need to look at the guidelines as well, and make it a lot stricter."
Mr Coxhead said the other thing the "country needs to seriously consider" is online voting.
"That would reduce people lining up unnecessarily," he said.
"They could vote online at their leisure in the last week of the campaign.
"If we reduce the pre-polling period, then look at online voting, I think that would be the way to go."