How getting Covid could prevent thousands from voting in the Federal election, after deadline passes
Covid-infected voters may be prevented from voting altogether if they tested positive before Tuesday and missed the postal vote deadline.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has provided ways around allowing voters to cast their ballot safely, but a loophole could throw a spanner in the works for thousands of citizens.
Adelaide mother Rachael Mazurczak was diagnosed with Covid along with her partner. She was told her husband won’t be able to vote because he was diagnosed with Covid last Sunday and she missed the deadline for him to register for a postal vote by last Wednesday evening.
The Australian Electoral Commission said those in isolation due to Covid who have not applied for a postal vote must not go out to vote on the day – but registering for a postal vote ended on Wednesday evening
There is a voting-by-phone option but that is only permitted for those who tested positive after last Tuesday at 6pm
Voters who have tested positive since the Tuesday deadline for phone voting are eligible to vote online or via phone number 1800 913 993
There is a voting-by-phone option but it is only permitted for those who tested positive after last Tuesday at 6pm, two days too late for Ms Mazurczak’s husband.
The three-day ‘dead zone’ for those who contracted Covid between last Saturday and Tuesday could potentially affect the ability of thousands of people to cast their ballot.
‘We are bound by legislation in this regard, as the amendment to the Electoral Act passed by the Parliament late last year was tailored specifically to this need, and we are unable to expand the service to other people,’ the spokesperson said.
The AEC told the concerned wife the fine for not voting on the day will be waived, but she is keen for her family to go to the polls.
‘It’s not about the fine, it’s about exercising your democratic rights,’ the South Australian voter told The Advertiser.
Voters who have tested positive after the Tuesday deadline are eligible to vote via phone either online or by dialing 1800 913 993.
The option to vote by phone is normally reserved for blind or low-vision voters, but has opened up for isolating coronavirus sufferers.
Voting across all states opens up at 8am and closes at 6pm sharp on Saturday.
Fines for coronavirus sufferers unable to cast their vote will not be issued, advised the AEC