How to vote if you have COVID-19

Don’t miss out: People who have COVID-19 can still vote in the Federal Election. Photo by Irene Dowdy

People who currently have COVID-19 can still vote in this election, they will just have to go about it differently.

The eligibility criteria was shifted on Friday, May 20 to allow anyone who had contracted coronavirus after 6pm on May 13 to vote by the secure telephone service.

You must register online for the service, which can be done here.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said on May 20 the commission had asked for the change which had been accepted by the government.

“We are very conscious of trying to extend the vote to as many people as possible, and in fact, the entire telephone voting thing was something that the AEC advocated for to start,” he said.

“Yesterday was the first day that it operated taking votes. Late last night when we got the data, we analysed the capacity and it looks like there’s spare capacity for us to be able to take extra votes.”

He warned there may be long wait times as every ballot needs to be read out over the phone, including the senate ballot paper which has a large number of candidates.

Mr Rogers urged people to look up the ballot paper ahead of time and to call in early.

He that while elections were in-person community events, the Australian 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,” Mr Rogers said.

Postal vote counts will begin on Sunday afternoon.