With most voters casting their ballot paper around midday, you could speculate it’s well timed around the enjoyment of the democracy sausage.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott eats a sausage as he tours Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, during the 2010 election campaign. Source: AAP / DEAN LEWINS/AAPIMAGE
The authoritative voice on how the unassuming sausage sandwich came to earn iconic election day status is historian and Emeritus Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, Judith Brett.
As Professor Brett explains in her book, barbecues and cake stalls at polling stations have played a big part in giving election day an atmosphere of celebration.
Former Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, bites into a sausage from a primary school sausage sizzle after casting his vote on 2 July 2016. Source: AFP / PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images
With compulsory voting drawing millions to the polls, local communities take advantage of the fundraising opportunity to set up posts outside primary schools, community halls, surf clubs and churches.
“At the 2010 Queensland election some Brisbane friends set up a website for groups to register their election-day fundraising offerings,” Professor Brett writes in her book.
Scott Morrison cooks sausages during a Liberal party campaign rally at Launceston Airport in April 2019 in Launceston. Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
The group, Snagvotes, hoped to encourage participation, bring the community together and offer support to those running the stalls.
“Clearly, social media concluded, he had never grabbed his weekend breakfast at Bunnings.”
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten bites the middle of a roll at Strathfield North Public School in Sydney in 2016. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
On another occasion, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull kindly declined a sausage sizzle from a volunteer during a visit to a flood-ridden Lismore.
Now, democracysausage.org has taken the role of collating the locations, marking all the stalls set to crop up on election day. On its interactive map, there’s icons denoting sausages, cake, coffee, bacon and egg burgers, with halal and vegetarian options, too.
Sometimes people get creative, gracing cake stalls with Malcolm Turnovers, Bill Shorternbreads and Jacqui Lambingtons in 2016.
A poster listing the offerings from a stall at a previous election shared by the @DemSausage Twitter.
In the same year, consulates and embassies held sausage sizzles for those far from home.
“It’s kind of nice to be the one that everybody likes on the day.”