Planning your vote more important than ever in a pandemic election

Updated: 8 May 2022

The two-week early voting period starts tomorrow and the Australian Electoral Commission have today reminded Australian voters to plan their vote according to their circumstances.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said 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,” Mr Rogers said.

“Approximately 550 early voting centres will be in operation across Australia during the two-week early voting period with many people who have applied for a postal vote are already receiving their ballot papers in the mail.” 

“Even with the challenges of a pandemic, Australians should be immensely proud of our electoral system and their ability to access services to cast their vote.”

“There will be plenty of voting options available throughout the two week early voting period for people who can’t make it on election day.”

“With approximately 105,000 staffing positions and more than 200,000 people who’ve registered their interest, there is redundancy available, however in some regional centres where we are competing for short term staff against other industries such as mining, we are doing our best to staff our services and to manage the impact of COVID.”

“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.”

“Australian elections are in-person, community events held once every three years and built around election day, so if you can vote on election day then that’s what you should do.”

“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.”

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