Voting starts in Queensland

Queenslanders can pre-vote in the State Election from Monday 19 October. Picture: Contributed

Laura Blackmore

From Monday 19 October Queenslanders will be able to vote in the State Government Election.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is encouraging electors to out their votes in early at one of the 200 early voting centres across Queensland.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said two weeks of extended early voting across Queensland combined with sensible health measures implemented in polling booths, were part of the ECQ’s commitment to delivering a COVID-safe State general election.

“The ECQ wants all electors who are voting in person to have a streamlined and COVID-safe voting experience,” Mr Vidgen said.

“There are some very simple and proven steps we can all take to ensure voting is done easily and safely.

“We ask electors to plan the way they’ll have their say in the 2020 State general election.

“This means thinking about their vote before they get to the polling booth, bringing their Voter Information Card if they have one, staying 1.5 metres apart when voting, using hand sanitiser, and bringing a pen or pencil if they wish.

“The ECQ has employed queue management staff and has designed polling booths to create an efficient voting experience.”

The distribution of how-to-vote cards will be allowable for the election, in accordance with a Direction issued by the ECQ.

However, campaign workers will need to comply with social distancing guidelines and hygiene standards and not re-use how-to-vote cards.

Mr Vidgen reiterated that it is the voter’s choice about whether they take how-to-vote cards being distributed by any campaign worker.

He said many early voting centres will be open from 9am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; from 9am to 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 9am to 5pm on Saturday 24 October.

Electors should check the ECQ website for the most up-to-date voting locations, days and times.

“Making voting available on the Saturday before election day is happening for the very first time for a Queensland general election,” he said.

“Nearly half of all electors chose early voting in the March local government elections.

“This helped deliver fewer and shorter queues, electors averaging around three minutes in a polling booth according to an elector survey, lower voting numbers on election day, and no spike in COVID-19 infections following the election period.

“Currently there’s an ECQ information campaign running across social media and digital platforms that is sharing health advice with electors.

“On election day Saturday 31 October, approximately 1,300 voting centres across Queensland will be open from 8am to 6pm, and I remind electors that voting is compulsory,” Mr Vidgen said.

Early voting will close Friday 30 October ahead of the official Election Day on Saturday 31 October.