VICTORIAN councils are expected to reap millions of dollars from voters who fail to vote in next week's local elections.
Melbourne City Council voters have until 6pm on Friday to get their ballots to their returning officer, or they face a $57 fine.
Non-resident voters and voters older than 70 are not obliged to vote at council elections.
But if the Victorian Electoral Commission fines only 10 per cent of non-voters, councils could reap a revenue windfall of more than $2 million in fines. And some predict the sum may be higher.
On Friday evening, only 24 per cent of the ballot papers had been returned in the Melbourne Council election.
"We would normally expect about half the votes to in by now," Lord Mayoral candidate Peter McMullin said.
The VEC said yesterday it would not fine people whose ballot papers arrived on the Monday after the election, but their votes would not be counted.