‘Plan your vote’ bid

VOTING has begun in this year’s Federal Election with early voting centres opening yesterday.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is urging voters to plan their vote, with Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers outlining the range of Covid-19 safety measures in place.
“If you can vote on election day then that’s what you should do,” Mr Rogers said, “however, if your circumstances might prevent you from doing that, then you need to think about the early voting options available and vote according to your circumstances.
“Voting centres will have more protections in place than most areas of society.”
Dedicated AEC hygiene officers will be regularly sanitising surfaces and pencils at all early voting centres and social distancing will be in force with equipment spaced out, markers and other signage providing guidance and queue-controlling staff offering support.
Mr Rogers says that like every other frontline industry and service, the delivery of the election is being affected by Covid and despite all of our planning and best efforts, our frontline services, such as our early voting centres, can be impacted at short notice.
“We’re engaging and training more staff than ever before to deliver an election in challenging circumstances, which includes Covid safety measures and labour market shortages,” he said.
“We expect, and have planned for, the furloughing of staff but with the scale and complexity of the election in a pandemic across Australia’s vast geography, some venues could be impacted at short notice.
“We ask for all Australians to be patient. We have all learned to adjust our service expectations throughout Covid. There will be some queues which is why everyone needs to plan their vote.”