If you are enrolled in the federal electoral division of Eden-Monaro you will be required to vote in this by-election on Saturday, July 4, 2020. Information on the three key focus points of early voting centres, accessibility and COVID-19 Safety measures is offered in this article.

Early voting centres

If you are eligible and unable to cast your vote on by-election day Saturday, July 4, 2020, you can vote at an early voting centre.

Opening dates and times vary so it’s a good idea to check the details. All times are in AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

On the Eden-Monaro by-election website, in the section Where can I vote early? there are dropdowns for each location. It shows whether it is wheelchair accessible or assisted wheelchair access.

Voting can also be done at the following divisional offices:

Contact them for opening times. Telephone: 132 326 

Eden-Monaro:  Ground Floor, 50 Marcus Clarke St CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601. 

Haymarket: Level 13, 59 Goulburn St, HAYMARKET NSW, 2000. 

Wollongong: Corporate Square, Level 4, 43 Burelli St, WOLLONGONG NSW 2520. 

Wagga Wagga: 2/209 Baylis St WAGGA WAGGA NSW 2650. 

Goulburn: 40 Goldsmith St GOULBURN NSW 2580. 

Accessibility

Information for people with disability or mobility restrictions regarding the Eden-Monaro by-election

 

Postal voting

Postal voting will be an important voting option available to eligible Eden-Monaro electors. Postal voting helps minimise contact and movement, and given the COVID-19 environment, it is anticipated that a greater number of voters will meet the eligibility criteria under the legislation to apply for a postal vote in this by-election.

If you are unable to travel to a polling place to vote for the Eden-Monaro by-election, you can apply for a postal vote.

A voter with a disability or mobility restrictions may also be eligible to become a general postal voter and receive ballot papers in the mail for each federal election.

To complete a postal vote, the voter may choose an assistant (such as a friend or family member) to help complete the ballot papers and envelope according to the voter's instruction, but the voter must sign the envelope or make a mark as a signature.

 Telephone Voting - Blind or have Low Vision

Voters who are blind or have low vision can cast a vote in secret by telephone from any location for the Eden-Monaro by-election, including their own homes.

Telephone voting is a simple two-step process, voters who are blind or have low vision will be invited to register for a telephone vote by calling a dedicated 1800 number for this election. They will not need to give their name when they vote using the telephone voting service. Their registration number and pin will be used to mark their name off the electoral roll, ensuring the voter’s identity remains secret.

Telephone voting is a simple two-step process and AEC voting assistants are available to assist you through the process.

Step 1: Call to register

Telephone voting registration is available on weekdays between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm AEST from Friday 12 June 2020 until Friday 3 July 2020. It is also available from 8 am to 12 pm AEST on Saturday 4 July 2020.

Call 1800 913 993 and you will be asked questions to check your details on the electoral roll and will be asked to choose a PIN. You will then receive a telephone voting registration number by your choice of an email, SMS, phone call or mail.

Step 2: Call to vote

Telephone voting is available on weekdays between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm AEST from  Monday 15 June 2020 until Friday 3 July 2020. It will be available from 8 am to 6 pm AEST on Saturday 4 July 2020.

Once you have received your registration number and chosen your PIN, you will need to call again to cast your vote by calling 1800 913 993.

When you call, you do not need to give your name as your telephone voting registration and PIN number will be used to mark you off the electoral roll.

An AEC voting assistant will record your vote. A second voting assistant will ensure your vote is recorded as you intended.

Your vote remains secret because the AEC voting assistant will not know your name or address.

Once your vote is complete, the voting assistant will place the ballot paper into a secure ballot box.

Polling place accessibility

The list of polling places will be available in the weeks leading up to by-election day.

Each polling place is given an accessibility rating to assist people with disabilities or mobility restrictions. These ratings are:

  • wheelchair accessible
  • assisted wheelchair access, or
  • not wheelchair accessible.

You can click on the rating listed against each polling place to find out more about its specific accessibility features.

Assistance to vote at a polling place

If you need assistance to vote at a polling place, you can ask someone to help you.

If you cannot get out of the car and the polling official in charge is satisfied that you cannot enter the polling place, someone may bring the ballot papers to you.

There are no provisions for electronic voting in any federal election, including the Eden-Monaro election.

Accessible voting information

 

The official guide to the Eden-Monaro by-election

A printed version of the official guide to the Eden-Monaro by-election will be delivered to households in the Division of Eden-Monaro. The guide is available on this page to download in accessible formats including audio, e-text and large print format.

Large print

e-text

Audio version   

Candidate list for the Eden-Monaro by-election

Accessible formats of the candidate list for the Eden-Monaro by-election are available to download below.

Candidates for Eden-Monaro by-election e-text

Candidates for the 2020 Eden-Monaro by-election Audio

You can also order a copy of the official guide to the Eden-Monaro by-election and the list of candidates to be sent to you in an accessible format including braille, audio or large print format by calling the AEC on 13 23 26.

Easy Read Guides

These guides explain how to enrol to vote and how to vote at a federal election.

The information in these guides is written in an easy to read way.

Pictures are used to explain some ideas.

How to enrol to vote

How to vote at a polling place

How to vote by mail

Translated versions

Easy read guides are available in a wide range of languages on the translated resources page.

AEC mobile voting

AEC mobile polling teams visit many voters who are not able to get to a polling place. Mobile polling facilities are set up in some hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and remote areas of Australia. Mobile polling is carried out around Australia during the election period.

A list of locations the AEC will be visiting will be available in the weeks after an election is announced.

patience

Patience is a virtue…

This alludes to the ability of a person to wait for something without becoming frustrated or angry. It is a useful skill to have and a testament to one’s positive personality.

In the Service Plan developed by the Australian Electoral Commission the electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers offers the following comment:

“It is also important to note these measures, which must be enacted to protect the community, will inevitably slow the voting process. Whilst we are implementing measures to try and reduce this impact, the AEC thanks all electors and participants for their patience and adherence to the new measures in the polling place and at our count centre.”

COVID-19 Safety measures

As is now becoming commonplace people will have a different voting experience this time with a variety of social distancing and hygiene measures put in place at every voting centre.

In preparing for this by-election, the health and safety of Eden-Monaro voters are paramount with advice sought from government health agencies. Guidance will be offered regarding appropriate social distancing and hygiene with hand sanitiser being available and voting screens being cleaned regularly by AEC staff.

When voting at a polling place:

  • Stay at home if you are unwell
  • Sanitise your hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Stand 1.5 metres apart

Social distancing

If on arrival voters are not able to immediately enter the polling place, they will be required to queue outside where social-distancing rules will be in place. Extra queue controllers that have been appropriately trained in social-distancing rules and the traditional “six-metre rule” regarding campaigners will be outside the polling place to ensure adherence to these important measures.

The number of voters entering a polling place will be counted at the door to limit the number of people inside the polling place at any one time. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to the polling place and at each ballot-paper issuing point and when exiting the polling place. Signage about hygiene and social distancing will be prominent in the polling place for voters and staff.

Where possible A “sneeze shield” will be installed at all ballot-paper issuing points, and issuing tables will be sprayed regularly with sanitising spray throughout the day and whenever issuing staff are rotated. Voters will be encouraged to bring their own pencil or pen to the polling place but electors will also be offered a single-use pencil when handed their ballot papers.

Voting screens will be separated by a distance of 1.5 metres and the plastic writing surface inserted into the voting screen will be regularly cleaned with sanitising spray throughout polling day.

AEC staff may wear surgical masks and will under no circumstances share their bibs or lanyards with other staff. Bio-hazard bags will be used for the disposal of surgical masks, gloves and cleaning cloth waste.

Photo opportunities of the inside of a polling place will only be allowed when there is a sufficiently low number of voters present so social distancing can be maintained, and when the Officer in Charge approves

Voting for residents of aged care facilities and hospital patients

The AEC is very conscious of the health and safety of voters during the by-election; particularly those who are potentially vulnerable to infection. Accordingly, they have adopted special measures to protect residents of aged care facilities and hospitals in the Eden-Monaro electorate during these extraordinary times, whilst still ensuring they can exercise their right to vote.

Based on medical advice, the AEC will be providing effective alternatives to mobile polling (which are normally a feature of electoral events). Specifically, the AEC has established a support team for these facilities and has already provided enrolment forms and general postal vote applications for residents to complete and return to the AEC.

Residents of aged care facilities and hospitals will have the option to either vote via a postal vote delivered directly to their facility; telephone voting for those who are blind or low vision; or by attending a polling location (depending on their personal circumstances), which will have health and safety measures in place.

The AEC will also maintain ongoing contact with aged care facilities and relevant hospitals in the Division of Eden-Monaro to provide support, answer questions and deliver additional enrolment and postal vote application forms if needed.

For more comprehensive information regarding the Eden-Monaro by-election please refer to the following websites: 

AEC Eden-Monaro by-election Service Plan 

Eden-Monaro by-election 


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