How to vote if you have COVID: Federal election 2022

The West Australian
The Australian Electoral Commission has released guidelines on how people can still cast their vote if they test positive to COVID-19 in the final days before the election.
Camera IconThe Australian Electoral Commission has released guidelines on how people can still cast their vote if they test positive to COVID-19 in the final days before the election. Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

The Australian Electoral Commission has released guidelines on how people can still cast their vote if they test positive to COVID-19 in the final days before the election.

Those who test positive to the virus from today, and will still be in isolation until after polls close on Saturday, will have to apply for a postal vote.

Applications for a postal vote will be open until 6pm on Wednesday.

People who test positive to COVID-19 from Wednesday onwards will be able to vote via telephone.

Prepoll Voting Open
Camera IconHaving COVID is not an excuse not to vote. Credit: News Corp Australia

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said while elections were “in-person community events”, the electoral commission continued to accommodate necessary changes for the global pandemic.

“We’re accounting for the pandemic in many aspects of election delivery, including options for COVID-19 positive voters in isolation,” he said.

“Applications this late in the election period should only be submitted by voters who have no other voting option.”

According to the AEC, about 2.5 million postal vote applications have already been received, up from $1.5 million from the 2019 election.

Mr Rogers said there was a “sting in the tail” with so many postal votes — counting them.

“We simply cannot count postal votes on election night - we’re already at the limits of our staffing capacity, and work health and safety responsibilities, with the count of Election Day and pre-poll votes,” he said.

“With 105,000 staff, we’re temporarily one of the nation’s largest employers, which is an undoubted resourcing challenge during COVID-19.”

The postal vote count will start on Sunday afternoon.

You can apply for a postal vote here.

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