Consistent with other services during the pandemic, the delivery of voting services will be different depending on the societal circumstances in place during the election period.
The AEC must operate within electoral laws that, for the vast majority of Australians, provide for a combination of in-person and postal voting.
Within the bounds of electoral laws, the AEC is planning to cater for the needs of all Australian voters effectively, including those most vulnerable to COVID-19. At the forefront of the AEC’s planning is the safety of Australian voters, their access to voting and, as always, the utmost integrity of election results.
The AEC has participated in the inquiry on the conduct of elections during times of emergency situations and continue to liaise with many different stakeholders regarding the implementation of electoral processes in diverse scenarios. Two federal by-elections were conducted successfully during the pandemic with lessons taken from those events, as well as the recent experiences of other electoral management bodies in Australia and overseas.
As all Australians would expect, the AEC is monitoring the COVID environment very closely, and planning for various election delivery scenarios in regular consultation with federal and state/territory health authorities. Regardless of when a federal election is conducted, some of the COVID-19 safety measures in place will be ones that Australians are familiar with through their daily lives over the past year and a half.
Temporary election workers will be required to be vaccinated for the 2022 federal election.
The AEC sought a range of advice, including from Australian Health authorities, prior to making this decision. It is one of many measures designed to protect voters, staff and other political participants during what is a national event with millions of face-to-face interactions.
Whenever a federal election is announced we will communicate clearly and regularly with Australian voters about their voting options and the COVID-19 safety measures we have put in place.