THE 2022 Federal election is just weeks away and voters across the country are gearing up to cast their votes, but what happens if you test positive for COVID-19 on or just before election day?
By law, all Australians citizens aged over 18 must enrol and vote in Federal elections, so having the virus does not exempt you from fulfilling your civic and democratic duty.
People who are virus free can vote at any polling place in their state or territory, with polls opening at 8am and closing at 6pm sharp.
People can also vote early at an early voting centre and can apply in advance for postal voting if they know they won't be able to attend a booth, or fear they may be exposed to COVID-19 prior to election day.
If you test positive for COVID-19 on or just before election day, you must obey stay at home orders and follow all government and public health directions given.
That means if you have the virus, you are not permitted leave your house except in an emergency or to get essential medical care - voting is not a lawful excuse to leave your home, even though you are required by law to vote.
Phone voting is open for those who are blind or have low vision, and for this election has been expanded to include those isolating with COVID.
This is especially important as postal voting can only be applied for up until the Wednesday before the election, so for those who test positive to COVID-19 between the Wednesday and election day (Saturday), that window will have been missed.
Alternatively, if you had already registered for early voting and are COVID-19 positive on election day, you can complete your vote via the post.
You can leave your ballot papers outside your house, and a masked neighbour or friend can collect your hard copy vote and post it on your behalf, or bring it to any AEC location.
For postal votes, a witness must be present when completing the ballot - this can be the person you're isolating with.
While voting is mandatory and crucial part of our political system and democracy, it shouldn't pose a health risk to you or anyone else, nor increase the spread the COVID-19.
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