25 September 2023

AEC stands up for voters with disability

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has unveiled a number of options for voters living with disability and mobility restrictions to assist them to cast votes in the Federal Election this week.

Deputy Electoral Commissioner and Disability Champion at the AEC, Jeff Pope said almost one in five Australians lived with a disability, and many more cared for someone living with disabilities or mobility restrictions.

“The AEC is determined to help everyone make their vote count, and we have in place a range of practical measures to do so,” Mr Pope said.

“AEC staff at voting centres are trained to support people with a disability or mobility restriction throughout the voting process, or they might like to bring someone along to assist, such as a friend or family member.”

Mr Pope said that if the person with disability or mobility restriction found it difficult to get to a voting centre, they could apply to have their ballot papers sent to them in the mail.

He said this could be done online.

Once the person receives their postal vote pack, they can complete the ballot papers and envelope or ask someone to help them.

“Each polling place used in the 2019 federal election has been given an accessibility rating to assist people with disabilities or mobility restrictions,” Mr Pope said.

“These ratings are: wheelchair accessible; assisted wheelchair access, or not wheelchair accessible,” he said.

“Voters who are blind or have low vision have the option to cast their vote in secret, by telephone from any location, by calling 1800 913 993.

“Telephone voting is a simple two-step process, and AEC voting assistants will assist you through the process.”

Mr Pope said the AEC had sent mobile polling teams to some locations, including remote areas, hospitals and aged care facilities.

He said the locations were made available shortly after the election was announced.

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