It’s less than a week until Rocko residents decide who they want to be their next member of State Parliament. If you’re not sure on the options, how or where to vote, read on for the Sound Telegraph’s guide on the who, what, when, where, why and how of the Rockingham by-election. Who Nine candidates. Only one will prevail. From the Labor Party it’s Magenta Marshall, a party staffer who remains the frontrunner to replace Mark McGowan in the ultra-safe Labor seat. Although revelations of her recent drink-driving conviction might have swayed some voters to take their vote elsewhere. Liberal candidate and resources sector small business owner Peter Hudson says he’s here for the long haul. He had a go at Brand in the 2022 Federal election, but voters are unsure whether they can trust the relative inexperience of a 21-year-old who was just last year working as a bottle-o attendant up until the Federal election. The Greens have also gone the party-loyal route, putting up former staffer Madeleine de Jong. The Rockingham local wants the Cockburn Sound to remain nuclear free — a clear reference to the AUKUS deal — and tangible investment into public and affordable housing. Former Rockingham deputy mayor Hayley Edwards is the favourite of the three independents, with former mayors and respected community advocates in her corner. She says Rockingham needs someone who is actively involved in the community and will fiercely advocate on their behalf — and she says she’s that person. Fellow former councillor Rae Cottam has gone the greener route, and it’s not for The Greens but Legalise Cannabis WA. She believes medical cannabis and CBD oil should fall under the PBS and wants to bring new perspective as a Wongutha woman, former teacher and local advocate. Another independent, Clive “Arthur” Galletly says he will fight for a women’s refuge centre and homeless hostel, a review of the Point Peron wastewater pipeline, and “several hundred million dung beetles Statewide” to control the fly population. He’s also Rockingham’s “Remedial Massage Guy”. The Australian Christians’ Mike Crichton is trying his hand at pulling in the faith vote, peddling anti-abortion rhetoric that “babies who have survived failed abortions, have been left to die in WA hospitals” and attending a Sunday service at local Pentecostal church Sound City Church. Independent Peter Dunne, who is campaigning predominantly via a GoFundMe page, is calling for elections for the police force, free tertiary education and a robust industrial court for wage and union matters. He also supports the Voice to Parliament. Campaigning for a de-registered party, Janetia Knapp is pushing ahead as an “individual” on the ballot after the Western Australia Party was de-registered in February. But the WAEC insists it’s fine for her to self-promote as a member of the party, and the WA Party to do the same — so long as neither put “Western Australia Party” and “Janetia Knapp” next to each other on any how-to-vote cards or ballot representations. What A by-election, triggered by the resignation of former premier Mark McGowan when he pulled the pin in late May. The State seat is now vacant, and voting is compulsory for those living in Rockingham, East Rockingham, Safety Bay, Shoalwater, Garden Island, Hillman, Peron, parts of Cooloongup and parts of Waikiki. The seat of Rockingham has been held by Labor since it was first created in 1974. Mike Barnett held it for 22 years before passing the torch to Mark McGowan in 1996 until his resignation — leaving a more than healthy margin of 37.7 per cent to Labor. When The official polling day is Saturday, July 29 but early voting centres in Rockingham and the Perth CBD have been open since July 12. Where Early votes can be cast at 5-8/10 Commodore Drive, next door to the Vinnies, or at the WAEC in the Perth CBD. About 4000 people voted early in the first week alone, with the total early in-person votes at 6459 as of last Saturday. You can also vote in the comfort of your own home if you get an application for a postal vote sent in time (applications close on Wednesday). More than 2800 people have chosen this route to send in their votes already. Combined, almost a third of voters have cast early. If you believe in the fundamental right of the democracy sausage, the following voting locations will be open on Saturday, July 29 from 8am until polls close at 6pm: Why Mostly because you have to, it’s compulsory to vote in State elections and by-elections — unless you want to cop a hefty fine. Also because democracy is a fundamental part of what makes up our country. We have the right to have a say on who represents us. The system isn’t perfect, but neither are people, so why not vote for the person you think will best represent you in your community? As Abe Lincoln said, democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Make your vote count! How WA’s preferential voting system means every box on the ballot paper must be numbered per the voter’s preferred candidates. Number those boxes 1-9 to ensure a correct vote. Don’t be a donkey.