AEC tells COVID cases they ‘may not be able to vote’ in the federal election

Home Health AEC tells COVID cases they ‘may not be able to vote’ in the federal election
AEC tells COVID cases they ‘may not be able to vote’ in the federal election

People who tested positive for COVID-19 between Saturday and Tuesday are “angry” that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has said they “may not be able to vote” this election.

Australians who tested positive after Tuesday at 6pm can apply to vote via phone, while those who tested positive between Saturday and Tuesday have been advised to apply for a postal vote.

But postal votes are unlikely to reach people like Melbourne’s Nicola Fry in time, according to the AEC website.

Ms Fry tested positive on Tuesday morning.

“I didn’t want to go through that avenue, because I wanted my vote to be counted,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.

At the time, Ms Fry’s family said they were advised by an AEC representative that they could vote over the phone.

But Ms Fry later discovered that advice was incorrect and that she would only be eligible to vote over the phone if she tested positive after 6pm on Tuesday.

Unable to vote via post and ineligible for a phone vote, Nicola Fry and her three family members say they will not be able to cast their ballots.

“I’m very angry and helpless,” she said.

A fair-haired woman sitting in her living room.
Michelle McLeod-Dryden and her husband were unable to register for a phone vote.(Supplied: Michelle McLeod-Dryden)

‘Really disappointed’

Multiple Australians diagnosed with COVID-19 between Saturday and Tuesday contacted the ABC saying they were in a similar situation.

Melbourne’s Michelle McLeod-Dryden tested positive for COVID on Sunday.

Her husband found he had the virus on Monday.

Ms McLeod-Dryden attempted to register for a postal vote on the AEC website but was told it would not arrive in time.

After an AEC representative informed her she could vote via phone, she discovered she was ineligible when she tried to sign up on Tuesday evening.

While she understood she would not get a fine, she said she was “really disappointed”.

“I’m not worried about the fine,” she said.

“There’s been adequate time to prepare for this.

“It’s just not good enough.”

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