With a federal election on the horizon, now is a good time to read up on the assistance the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) provides to people with disabilities, so you’ll be prepared to cast your vote come election day.
The Commission provides some easy read guides that explain how to enrol to vote, how to vote at a polling place and how to vote by mail.
Along with these guides, the AEC also provides information specific to the 2019 federal election in a large print guide. The same information is also available in audio format. In addition, candidate lists are available in a range of accessible formats, including large print, audio and braille. For more information contact an AEC office.
Where can I vote?
If you’re looking for a place to vote, you can search for your nearest polling place via the AEC website. The commission provides information on the accessibility of each polling place noting if they are:
- wheelchair accessible
- assisted wheelchair access, or
- not wheelchair accessible.
Staff at the polling places are available to help you if you need assistance in casting your vote, whether you need some help to complete your ballot or to place your ballot in the ballot box. While polling place staff are trained, they may not immediately know that you need assistance, however if you ask they’ll be happy to help. This short video from the AEC demonstrates the various ways in which polling place staff can provide assistance.
Other ways to vote
If you can’t make it to a polling place on Saturday May 18, you can vote early at early voting centres from Monday April 29, 2019 until Friday May 17, 2019. Find your nearest early voting centre at www.aec.gov.au/where
Postal voting is another option available if you can’t get to a polling place or an early voting centre. Applications for postal votes are available from AEC offices or online at www.aec.gov.au/pva. Applications for postal votes must be received by 6pm on Wednesday May 15, 2019. People with disabilities can also apply to be a general postal voter. For more information visit www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote
The AEC also offers telephone voting for people who are blind or have low vision. To vote by telephone, you need to first register by calling 1800 913 993. Once you have registered and received your PIN and telephone voting registration, you’re ready to vote.
- Registration lines are open on weekdays only between 8.30am and 5.30pm AEST from Friday April 26, 2019 until Friday May 17, 2019. Registration is also available between 8am to 12pm AEST on Saturday May 18, 2019.
- Telephone voting lines are open on weekdays only between 8.30am and 5.30pm AEST from Monday April 29, 2019 until Friday May 17, 2019 and also from 8am to 6pm AEST on Saturday May 18, 2019.
Find more information about telephone voting here: https://www.aec.gov.au/election/blv.htm
The AEC offers a range of services and assistance designed to make voting accessible to people with disabilities. For more information reach out to your local AEC office by calling 13 23 26 or visiting https://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC
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