South Australian voters are to be able to cast their vote in the upcoming State election while being tested for COVID-19 at the same time.
Electoral Commissioner, Mick Sherry said the State-first arrangements had been made to ensure everyone, including those impacted by the virus, could safely have their say in the State election.
Mr Sherry said the Electoral Commission South Australia (ECSA) had been working in partnership with SA Health, SA Pathology, SAFECOM and South Australia Police (SAPOL) to ensure a safe election was conducted in which everyone could take part.
“In a first for the State, 22 PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) locations across South Australia, including those based in regional communities, will double as voting pack collection points, allowing close contacts and COVID-19 impacted individuals to vote safely,” Mr Sherry said.
He said that if South Australians were COVID-positive, a close contact, or had COVID symptoms between Thursday 17 March and election day on Saturday 19 March, they would be eligible to register online and be invited to pick up a voting pack at a PCR or RAT collection site.
“Under the updated Emergency Management Act, COVID-19 impacted individuals will have permission to leave home to collect their ballot papers and post their completed ballots while still in isolation,” he said.
The Electoral Commissioner said that for people voting in person, polling stations would operate under COVID-safe plans to ensure voters felt safe and confident.
“All polling booths will have socially-distanced queues, sanitisation stations, mandatory mask wearing, single-use pencils, fully-vaccinated electoral officials and hygiene and density control officers in place,” Mr Sherry said.
He said the number of early voting centres across the State had increased from 22 at the 2018 State election to 37 for this election.
“This gives eligible voters greater access and time to safely cast their vote in the 12 days prior to the election from Monday 7 March until Friday 18 March,” he said.
Further voting information can be accessed on the ECSA website at this PS News link.