Throughout the campaign their candidates might traded barbs, but in the early chill of election day a sense of camaraderie flows between volunteers gathered to hand out how-to-vote cards.
Outside the polling booths, Liberal and Labor volunteers exchange laughs, while Greens election day veteran Christina Sobey compliments relative newbie Matthew Kovacevic, Sustainable Australia Party, on how he approaches people.
It is passion that rouses volunteers from their beds and onto the grounds of Albury High School, but it is respect that keeps things cordial despite their differing views.
For Mrs Sobey, who herself contested the 2001 federal election, handing out how-to-vote cards has become something of an election tradition.
The self-described housewife came prepared.
"I've got a couple of thermoses... I bought this stool for $2 from the tip shop, painted it green and now I can just sit all day," she laughed.
"Everyone just keeps quiet, keeps their views to themselves and gets on with each other. Otherwise there's tension.
"It's generally a quiet, nice day, you just stay quiet I learnt that the hard way, I've got upset in the past but it's best to stay quiet."
Mrs Sobey said this year fewer people are taking how-to-vote cards, with only about half of voters accepting a pamphlet from any volunteer.
Next to her, Mr Kovacevic, who is supporting friend and candidate Ross Hamilton, is surviving off very few hours sleep.
The night-shift worker clocked off at 3am, arrived home at 4am and was up and handing out voting advice by 8.15am.
"Mainly I'm dissatisfied with the two major parties, particularly their action on climate change," he said.
"Most people don't want to take pamphlets, they just want to go in and vote.
"Everyone handing out cards is calm and civil, we're all getting along.
"It's quite a privilege really, I think things are getting worse with political correctness, but we are allowed to speak openly and debate."
United Australia Party's Hamish Davis, of Thurgoona, said older Australians were taking how-to-vote cards but younger people seemed to already know who they were voting for and didn't want guidance.
On the other side of the door John Harris, Liberals, stands just metres away from Labor candidate Kieran Drabsch.
As a retiree he's concerned about Labor's franking credits policy and about their economic management skills.
But he's been handing out how-to-vote cards for nine years and when a man in a wheelchair gets stuck in the car park's gutter - he's right there, side-by-side with Mr Drabsch helping.
"Around here people are pretty good, they don't get angry," he said.
"They cooperate and help each other.
"We'd all like our candidate to win and there's a lot of people with different beliefs but it's fine."
One Nation's Elizabeth Peoples said generally people passing the corflutes greet volunteers with 'blank stares'.
Aside from that people are polarised.
"It's 'yeah absolutely' or 'no way'," she said.
"The day changes, it begins placid but then later everyone starts talking because we're all bored, and you start to have some really interesting conversations."
Candidate Kevin Mack's son Wilson Mack of Albury turned 18 two days before the election and was preparing to vote for the first time.
"It's pretty surreal, it's my first time voting and dad's there," he said.
"It feels surreal we've been running around for two months and we're finally here."
Wilson Mack was handing out how-to-vote cards said all the volunteers were friendly.
"It's not great being here this early," the Albury High student said.
"Normally I can roll out of bed at 20 to nine and come to school."
Democratic voting might happen inside the polling booths but outside where volunteers of all political creeds share small talk and laughs shows the true power of democracy.
Across the border at Victory Lutheran College - both retiring independent MP Cathy McGowan and Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie were dressed in their team colours, handing out how-to-vote cards.
The two had their differences and arguments over Ms McGowan's six years as an MP, but were happy to put that aside for some friendly competition.
Volunteers stationed at pre-poll and booths on election day were generally warm and friendly with each other.
"There a camaraderie between everybody, a lot of respect," Ms McGowan said.
"There's been a lot of people getting behind their respective candidates and turning up, there's been a really good feel there.
"The neighbours have been coming out with cakes."