Election organisers have introduced a raft of measures to cope with Covid-19 during the upcoming federal election.
One of the biggest changes is those who test positive for Covid close to the election will be able to phone their vote in from home.
Discussions are also underway with state health ministers to potentially allow voters who are close contacts to be able to leave their homes to vote in person.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) made clear it wants those who are able to vote in person to do so.
“Elections are in-person community events and we expect voters to turn out,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said over the weekend.
An AEC spokesperson said the option was being considered to require a negative RAT from close contacts, in order to get the most amount of people to the polls.
Those who test positive for Covid themselves within small window close to the election will have the option of voting via a phone service.
The window only applies to the Thursday and Friday before the election, and the Saturday of the election.
Applications for postal voting will still be available before that time.
AEC spokesperson Evan Ekin-Smith told 3AW the option as an “emergency provision” and warned of potentially long wait times.
“You’d likely be waiting longer on the phone than you would in the queue at a polling place,” he said.
“So we’ve stressed to people not to use the phone vote if you don’t have to.”
Strict safety measures will be in place at polling booths on election day including hygiene officers wiping down surfaces.
“Many of the safety measures in place are things that Australians will be very familiar with by now – social distancing, the use of hand sanitiser and the work of our hygiene officers at every polling place,” Mr Rogers said.
“We are committed to the safety of our temporary polling staff and voters who visit a voting centre this federal election.”
Australians have until next Monday, 18 April to ensure they are correctly enrolled.