Prime Minister Scott Morrison has approved telephone voting for Covid-19 positive Australians in self-isolation to vote in Saturday’s, May 21, federal election.
On Thursday, May 19, it was reported by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) that more than 100,000 registered voters would unlikely be able to vote because they tested positive after the cutoff to apply for postal ballots but wouldn’t be able to qualify for telephone voting either.
Early Friday morning, May 20, the AEC advised the problem could be fixed if those who tested positive for Covid-19 after 6 pm last Friday, May 13, were allowed to use telephone voting.
Changes are coming to telephone voting eligibility for those who have tested positive to COVID-19. Commissioner Tom Rogers is joining @JoeDoesNews in a few minutes to discuss what’s happening. pic.twitter.com/LBlHKvppjh
— AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) May 19, 2022
Morrison approved of the recommendation and is allowing telephone voting eligibility to expand to prevent disenfranchisement for those positive for Covid-19, telling 6PR Radio he believes all Australians should be able to vote.
“I’m advised we’ve received that advice and it will be expanding to people who tested positive after 6pm last Friday,” Morrison said.
“The Special Minister of State is liaising with the Labor Party to ensure there is bipartisan support for that.
“We’ve got a very good electoral commission in Australia, they’ve worked the problem, and they’ve come forward with a solution … you’ve heard it on your program first, it’s just come through in the last 15 minutes.”
AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers has also clarified that expanding the telephone voting privilege is an “emergency measure” and has warned that there will be delays.
“We will be working to make sure that the queues are as smooth as they can be, but I’m just pointing out to everyone, this is a one-off, emergency project, and it will be a lumpy experience,” he said.
As per the AEC website, eligible Covid-19 positive voters are required to provide evidence of their Covid-19 positive test results, this includes either a PCR test with the location testing centre, the date and time of when you’ve received your results and your health authority’s reference number, or the date and time of your positive RAT result along with its brand and serial number and the reference number from the health authority where you registered your positive RAT.
From there, telephone voting will only be available:
Visit the official Covid-19 secure telephone voting page on the AEC website for more information regarding eligibility and its step-by-step process.