VOTING SOON: 2020 Queensland General Election postal vote applications open Monday, September 14 to ensure everyone could vote safely during the pandemic.
VOTING SOON: 2020 Queensland General Election postal vote applications open Monday, September 14 to ensure everyone could vote safely during the pandemic.

Postal voting applications opening early to avoid COVID-19

WHETHER you prefer convenience or staying healthy during the coronavirus pandemic, from Monday, Queensland’s voters have can apply for a postal vote in advance of the October 31 State Election.

In a statement released today, the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said postal vote applications for the 2020 State general election open on Monday, September 14, closing on Friday, October 16.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the option to apply for a postal vote weeks before the start of the election period would support electors who may not want to vote in person due to COVID-19.

He said there was an explosion of interest in postal voting earlier this year with around 570,000 (Queensland) applications received.

“The ECQ is working to ensure Queensland electors have every opportunity to vote for their representative in the next Parliament,” Mr Vidgen said.

Over the years, postal voting has grown in popularity around the Rockhampton region.

In 2017 election, booths in the electorates of Keppel and Rockhampton received a total of 4,051 postal votes.

During the 2019 Federal Election, 8,262 postal votes were recorded in Capricornia.

The ECQ won’t be mailing out ballot papers until after candidate nominations closed in mid-October.
The ECQ won’t be mailing out ballot papers until after candidate nominations closed in mid-October.

Mr Vidgen said usually postal vote applications opened with the issue of the writ, beginning the election period.

“However, with COVID-19 still a factor, we anticipate strong interest in postal voting just as we saw in March’s local government elections,” he said.

While electors can apply for a postal vote on the ECQ website or by phoning the ECQ’s call centre from Monday, they couldn’t mail the ballot papers until after candidate nominations closed in mid-October.

“We remind electors who applied for a postal vote in March and want to postal vote in October, they need to apply again,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said electors could be assured ECQ was ready to deliver a COVID-safe State general election with its Statement of Intent outlining the election’s delivery principles.

“We are planning for an election period with two weeks of extended early voting days and hours, including voting on Saturday, October 24 as well as election day voting between 8am and 6pm on Saturday, October 31,” he said.

“To ensure voting in person can be as streamlined as possible, we ask electors to ‘plan the way they’ll have their say’.

SAFE ELECTION: An election official sanitises voting areas at a polling booth on March 28, 2020 during the local government elections which didn’t result in a spike in cases. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
SAFE ELECTION: An election official sanitises voting areas at a polling booth on March 28, 2020 during the local government elections which didn’t result in a spike in cases. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

“That means planning their vote, choosing where and when they’ll vote, staying 1.5 metres apart, using hand sanitiser and bringing their own pen or pencil.”

The ECQ continues to take the advice of the Chief Health Officer in safely managing voting in Queensland.

“It’s important to note that due to everyone’s careful adherence to health advice during the March local government elections, there was no subsequent spike in COVID-19 infections,” he said.

The ECQ were also establishing special postal voting arrangements for residents of certain aged care facilities which would usually receive a mobile polling service as a ‘declared institution’.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to protect vulnerable residents, the ECQ was unable to provide this service for this election.

However, the ECQ intended to streamline the postal vote process for these facilities, to make sure it is easy for residents to vote by post if that is their preference.

  • To apply for a postal vote online from Monday, September 14, go to ecq.qld.gov.au
  • To apply via the call centre from Monday, September 14, phone 1300 881 665.
  • To make sure you’re correctly enrolled go to aec.gov.au.
  • To read the ECQ’s 2020 State general election Statement of Intent.
  • ECQ media statements are at ecq.qld.gov.au/media.


Labor promises dual hwy between Rocky and Gladstone

Premium Content Labor promises dual hwy between Rocky and Gladstone

THE Palaszczuk Labor Government has promised to prioritise $12.6 billion safety...

OUR HOME TOWN: Big step for Gladstone interior designer

Premium Content OUR HOME TOWN: Big step for Gladstone interior designer

After running a successful online business for the past eight years Tess...

Meet the candidates who will battle Butcher

Premium Content Meet the candidates who will battle Butcher

Here are all the candidates who will battle Butcher in the Queensland State...