Off and running: Early voting open

Open: Early voting centres are now open. Check the AEC website for locations. Photo by Jeremy Beasley

Early voting centres are now open for the May 21 federal election.

One pre-polling centre is open in Shepparton this week at 318 Wyndham St, while a second centre will open next week at the old Oke’s Toy Warehouse on Lorraine St.

Voting on Wyndham St is open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on May 14, with shorter opening hours on May 20.

The polling centre at Oke’s is open from 9am to 4pm on May 14 and from 8.30am to 5.30pm on May 16-19, and 8.30pm to 6pm on May 20.

The Australian Electoral Commission urged voters to plan their vote with COVID-19 in mind.

“If you can vote on election day, then that’s what you should do,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

“However, if your circumstances might prevent you from doing that, then you need to think about the early voting options available and vote according to your circumstances.

“Australians have been living with COVID-19 for more than two years now.

“For most people you’re visiting the shops regularly, attending events or taking public transport — voting centres will have more protections in place than most areas of society.”

On election day, polling places will once again be open from 8am to 6pm.

To allow people to assess and cater to their circumstances in the COVID-19 environment, a number of early voting centres will be offering extended hours.

Voting centre locations, their opening days and hours are available on the AEC website at

Dedicated AEC hygiene officers will be regularly sanitising surfaces and pencils at all AEC early voting centres.

Social distancing will be in force with equipment spaced out, markers and other signage providing guidance and queue-controlling staff offering support.

AEC staff will be wearing masks and other personal protective equipment as required.

Voters do not need to be vaccinated to attend a voting centre.

Campaign activities —including handing out how-to-vote cards — can occur, in line with local health directions and electoral laws.

For further information about COVID-19 safety measures, visit