26 September 2023

Early voting to be open to all

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Victorians wishing to vote early in next month’s State Election won’t be required to give a reason to the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) this time, implementing a feedback made clear by voters.

Deputy Electoral Commissioner Dana Fleming said VEC’s voter research had been used to inform its election delivery and communication services for the 26 November State election

“After the 2018 State election, we asked voters what was important to them and have addressed as many of those aspects as possible,” Ms Fleming said.

“What we heard is that voters want convenience, communication, choice, control and confirmation that they have done things properly,” she said.

“We want to ensure the voting experience is as easy and accessible as possible.”

Ms Fleming confirmed that Victorians would no longer be required to provide a reason for voting early or by post.

She said the VEC would also increase the number of early voting centres by 50 per cent and introduce ‘after hours’ early voting, including several late nights and all day on Saturday 19 November (9am to 5pm), the weekend before the vote.

Ms Fleming said voters would also be able to take advantage of digital information and reminders via VEC’s VoterAlert service; short videos on how preferences work, completing ballot papers and spotting electoral mis- and disinformation; and video snippets in 23 languages on enrolling and completing ballot papers.

She said telephone-assisted voting would be back from 14 November, along with hearing loops at early voting centres.

The Deputy Electoral Commissioner said translated website information was also available in 19 languages, including enrolment forms that converted text to English when printing.

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