Australians Will Now Be Able To Vote Over the Phone in This Year’s Federal Election – And Those Who Don’t Risk Huge Fines

Australians Will Now Be Able To Vote Over the Phone in This Year’s Federal Election – And Those Who Don’t Risk Huge Fines

By Callum Godde and Farid Farid

– Aussies can vote on election day even if they have Covid or are a close contact
– The AEC is launching a telephone voting system for those currently in isolation
– Covid cases and close contacts are required to spend seven days in isolation

Australians will still be able to vote on election day if stuck in Covid-19 isolation as a confirmed case or close contact.

The Australian Electoral Commission says it will roll out a telephone voting system for those subject to isolation orders on the day of the May 21 poll.

‘We are working on a telephone voting option, which will be a first,’ AEC boss Tom Rogers told ABC Radio on Monday.

Voters who have missed pre-polling and postal vote options will have to make a declaration they’re subject to a health order to access the ’emergency’ measure.

Australians will still be able to vote on election day if stuck in COVID-19 isolation as a confirmed case or close contact. Stock image
Australians will still be able to vote on election day if stuck in COVID-19 isolation as a confirmed case or close contact.

The Australian Electoral Commission says it will roll out a telephone voting system for those subject to isolation orders on the day of the May 21 poll. Stock image
The Australian Electoral Commission says it will roll out a telephone voting system for those subject to isolation orders on the day of the May 21 poll.

Mr Rogers said the declaration would stop people ‘gumming up’ the system for others.

‘If we have to read out the Senate ballot paper for people in telephone voting, it’s going to take some time. So I urge people to only use that if they are actually subject to that health order,’ he said.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases and most close contacts are currently required to spend seven days in isolation across the country.

National cabinet last month agreed it would remove the requirement for close contacts, contingent on health advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

But the expert health body recommended the seven-day isolation rule for close contacts remain until the peak passes for the current Omicron wave, expected sometime in April.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is preparing to announce a new health minister to replace the outgoing Greg Hunt.

Mr Hunt, who led Australia’s Covid-19 pandemic response, is not re-contesting his Victorian seat of Flinders, opening the way for the government to lock in a new candidate for health minister if it’s re-elected on May 21.

Voters who have missed pre-polling and postal vote options will have to make a declaration they're subject to a health order to access the 'emergency' measure. Stock image
Voters who have missed pre-polling and postal vote options will have to make a declaration they’re subject to a health order to access the ’emergency’ measure.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) is preparing to announce a new health minister to replace the outgoing Greg Hunt (centre). Mr Hunt, who led Australia's COVID-19 pandemic response, is not re-contesting his Victorian seat of Flinders
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) is preparing to announce a new health minister to replace the outgoing Greg Hunt (centre). Mr Hunt, who led Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic response, is not re-contesting his Victorian seat of Flinders

Mr Morrison confirmed on Monday his pick for health minister would be made known at the weekend.

‘I’m taking my team forward at the election. They’re a proven team,’ he said on Sunday when asked about the security of the rest of his cabinet.

‘My strong united team I led for the last three years, sitting around that cabinet table… has seen Australia lead the world with its recovery (from the pandemic).’

Mr Hunt’s departure from politics comes as virus case numbers dropped in every state and territory over the weekend.

More than 36,000 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths have been recorded across Australia on Monday.

In a promotional video for his re-election campaign, Mr Morrison claimed his government had saved 40,000 lives since the pandemic began.

Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10706337/How-vote-youre-struck-Covid-Australian-federal-election.html

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