Feedback from voters at polling booths across the shire showed a strong desire to help Indigenous Australians in direct, practical ways — but punters were divided on the best way to do it. While the region was always expected to produce a good result for the Yes case for the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament, many No voters expressed frustration. No voters said they found the case for Yes poorly articulated, there wasn’t enough detail around the Voice itself, and many No supporters wanted accountability in efforts to help Indigenous Australians rather than money wasted in Canberra. Cowaramup photographer Nellie-Joy O’Mara said she was cautious at any vote requiring constitutional change. “I voted no because I don’t believe we’ve been given enough information to know what we’re voting for. Once things are in the Constitution, it’s very hard to change them,” she said. “A lot of the Indigenous people who are speaking out for the Yes vote are a lot of the people who are in power.” Other No voters likewise said they saw the Albanese Government asked voters to trust it with the fine detail later. “I don’t want Australia divided,” No campaigner James Lane said. “It’s as simple as that.” Cowaramup woman Bev O’Connor said she voted No because she saw the Voice as a divisive mechanism. “I just feel like it’s going to segregate people more,” she said. “We’re supposed to be one nation. We don’t need a referendum to put them in Parliament. “We should just accept them because they’re part of our country. That’s pretty much why I voted No. I don’t believe we need to have a full vote over it.” Huw Jackman, 18, said he was disappointed his first chance to vote was part of such a divisive issue. “I was excited to vote back when I realised I’d be eligible, but I really tuned out of all the noise a few weeks back,” he said. While the official Yes campaign group was upbeat about local efforts, other voters who supported Yes and worked in the campaign expressed frustration at the lacklustre national message. Campaigners blasted the No campaign for “misinformation and misdirection”. But WA’s bungled Heritage Act fiasco and the Federal Government relying on the trust of voters were also significant factors, several Yes voters said. Witchcliffe Yes campaigner Scott McGuinness said the political debate blurred the argument for the Voice. “I’m a bit concerned about all of the misinformation that’s been put out,” he said. “I’m disgusted by some of it actually, from the No camp. “I have worked a lot with Aboriginal people. Some of my best friends are Aboriginal people. They are all for it.” Cowaramup woman Jemima Kerr voted Yes in the hope of creating solidarity. “This opportunity is not going to come around for a lifetime so this is our chance to make history and make a change,” she said. “I also think it’s a step forward towards a treaty which is ridiculous that we don’t have one already.” One campaigner who asked not to be named said mistrust of government itself bolstered the No case. “A vote for No is a vote to do nothing,” he said. “That’s Australia for you: voter apathy.” Cowaramup resident Heather Auld pointed the finger at “misinformation and misdirection” by No campaigners as the reason for the strong No turnout. “(There’s) totally wrong information put out there by certain parties which is very disappointing to me that we couldn’t have bipartisan support on this,” she said. “It’s not a political thing. It started a long time ago.” Yes campaigners also acknowledged frustration the referendum had polarised people into Yes and No camps. “It’s mixed and I’m a bit concerned we live in a privileged bubble down here,” Margaret River Yes voter Eleanor Davies said. “It’s time that people voted Yes. It’s time that something changed. “Why so say No when that’s a negative? Say Yes and something might change.” Some Yes voters said they were “depressed” to see how many No voters were making a showing. “We have a lot of boomers in this region,” business operator Tyree Jakiewicz said. “I see them burning everything down before they leave the planet.” Other voters said they were dismayed that the referendum argument broke people down into black-and-white arguments supporting Aboriginal Australians. One No voter who asked not to be identified said the feeling No voters were “racist” just because they didn’t back the Voice was unfortunate. “It’s just not as simple as that,” he said. “I don’t trust this Government — any of our governments — to implement something so complex designed to improve outcomes for Indigenous people. “As a white Australian, this is what I want — but I don’t think the Voice will deliver it.” No voter Jack Hardman, 21, said he also felt uncomfortable voting against the Voice because he saw the older No vote sometimes carried a racist undertone. “I just wasn’t satisfied with the lack of information about how the Voice would function,” he said. Yes voter Ruth Leigh expressed disbelief at the No turnout. “It is time that Aboriginal people are able to have a permanent say in matters that affect them, and it’s not something that each government can change on a whim like has occurred in the past,” she said. “It just seems like a no-brainer to me.” The shire’s total vote came in at 4482 for Yes and 4306 for No.