‘Telephone voting’ option likely for people who test COVID+ on May 21

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‘Telephone voting’ option likely for people who test COVID+ on May 21

Voter Hand Holding Ballot Paper
Image source: © Artmim | Megapixl.com

Highlights

  • Australian Electoral Commission will start a telephone voting system for those who will be in isolation on poll day (21 May 2022).
  • People who cannot attend voting booths are encouraged to apply for a postal vote, which will be accepted until 6 pm on Wednesday (20 May).
  • PM Morrison has confirmed that the nation will find out who will succeed outgoing health minister Greg Hunt before the election.

Due to Covid safeguards such as regular cleaning, social separation, and hand sanitising measures, the Australian Electoral Commission has urged voters to expect long queues at polling stations.

However, the Election Commission will start a telephone voting system for those who will be in isolation on the poll day (21 May 2022).

Australian Electoral Commission chief Tom Rogers said, "If you wake up on the day and are subject to a health order on the day, we are working on a telephone voting option, which will be a first."

People who are blind, have impaired vision, or work in Antarctica have long used phone-in voting. This year, legislation was updated to allow persons who have tested Covid-19 positive to use the service as an "emergency provision."

People who cannot attend voting booths are encouraged to apply for a postal vote, which will be accepted until 6 pm on Wednesday (20 May) before election day.

Source: © Lifeofriley | Megapixl.com

Who is required to do telephone voting?

COVID-19 cases and most close contacts in the United States must spend seven days in isolation. However, last month, the national cabinet agreed to lift the requirement for close interactions, subject to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee's health advice.

However, the expert health committee suggested that the seven-day isolation guideline for close contacts be maintained until the current Omicron wave reaches its height, which is expected in April.

Australia's new health minister

Meanwhile, PM Morrison has confirmed that Australia will find out who will succeed outgoing health minister Greg Hunt before the election.

Hunt, who oversaw Australia's COVID-19 pandemic response, has announced his decision to not seek a re-election. Hunt’s decision means that Morrison government will be without a locked-in health minister if they manage to win the upcoming election. But, capitalising on the uncertainty around Labor's possible cabinet, PM Morrison said that he would announce the name of Hunt’s replacement in the coming days.

Hunt's decision to leave politics came as the number of virus cases fell in every state and territory over the weekend.

Over 44,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the country on Sunday, including 14 deaths.

Also Read: Australia Federal Elections 2022: Will Covid wave see Aussies cast their vote via phone?

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