As Australians headed to the polls in a tightly contested election, many tucked into a meaty treat in what has become an unusual tradition.

“Democracy sausages” – hot dogs served at polling stations – have become such an institution that the official hashtag for this year’s election featured a slice of white bread topped with a sausage and tomato sauce.

Several voters and MPs shared pictures of themselves enjoying the snack as they arrived to cast their votes.

According to @DemSausage, a Twitter account devoted to tracking the locations of democracy sausage stands, there were 2,215 booths across the country – meaning 4.3 million voters should have had access to a sausage as they voted.

Of those, 120 booths were described as “perfect” – so-called because they served sausage, cake, bacon and eggs, vegetarian options and coffee.

The account added that the winner of the “Sizzling Award for commitment to democracy sausage” was Fenner, in the Australian Capital Territory, where 95.4% of voters were “expected to have access to a sausage”.