02/07/2016 9:23 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST

Australia's Election Somewhat Eclipsed By Allure Of Grilled Meat

After eight weeks of campaigning, it's time to vote and eat.

Bill Shorten tucks into a sausage from the... middle?

From the outside looking in, you could be forgiven for thinking that today Australia is celebrating a festival of grilled meat.

Across the nation, people are turning up to local schools and government buildings, and snapping pictures of themselves eating this traditional treat -- a barbecued sausage on white bread, slathered in sauce and topped with grilled onions.

It is, in fact, the federal election day when the future leadership of the country will be decided. But to celebrate successfully voting, many Australians treat themselves to a sausage on the way out from the polling booth, cooked by an army of fundraisers and volunteers.

It's known as the Democracy Sausage, and along with sizzling meat and onions, it boasts a slight aroma of 'Constitutional Right To Vote'.

Prime Ministerial hopeful Bill Shorten has already got into the act, snapped this morning tucking into a sausage on a roll when he went to vote in western Sydney.

The leader of the left nominated a plain beef sausage as his favourite, eschewing fancier flavours.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's didn't bother picking up a sausage sandwich when he voted in east Sydney. (Editorial note: Which is outrageous and almost unAustralian, even if it was before 10am.)

But he did at least note that the day wasn't complete without them.

It has become such a part of the electoral tradition that Google Maps has featured data on whether polling stations have a sausage sizzle and/or a cake stall on offer for the convenience of voters.

Some bright spark has even mapped the informal sausage sizzles, noted whether vegetarian options were available, and added details on cake stalls and tables of craft goods for sale on site.

On Twitter, people's appraisal of this barbecued goodness under the tag #SnagVotes eclipsed the official election hashtag #AusVotes. Which shows something about the nation's priorities.

To highlight polling day, Twitter has issued a sausage and bread emoji that appears when users tweet #ausvotes.

Google reported the search for sausages was on par with hunt for election data.

But going from social media many punters are sticking with the basics.

According to Snagvotes, a group that's dead serious about all things sausage-sizzle related, today's about encouraging "participation in the democratic process and offering support for community groups and volunteers that run sausage sizzles and stalls on election day, as it is an important means of fundraising for them".

And for those who didn't manage to get a sausage at the polling station, here's a democracy sausage dog who turned out with its owner to vote.