People concerned about COVID are now permitted to apply for a postal vote for the council elections.
With some Northern Beaches residents concerned about COVID-19 risks attending polling places with large numbers of other people on Saturday, 04 December, the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) has added a new reason for people to apply for a postal vote, if they “reasonably believe that attending a polling place on election day will pose a risk to the health or safety of yourself or people around you, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The new addition to the eligibility criteria (full list below) significantly expands the eligibility to apply for postal voting. To request a postal vote, an application must be made online at the NSWEC website or by downloading an application form and sending it to the NSWEC. Requests for postal voting must be received before 5.00pm Monday, 29 November.
Postal voting may be more convenient this election with some previous voting locations unavailable because of COVID-19, in particular, voting will not be conducted at ‘declared institutions’ such as aged care facilities and hospitals. Additionally, voting centres that previously operated on hospital grounds (such as Mona Vale) will not operate this election.
You are eligible to apply for a postal vote if you:
- are a permanent or temporary resident in a hospital, nursing home, retirement village or similar facility
- are self-isolating because of COVID-19 related reasons
- reasonably believe that attending a polling place on election day will pose a risk to the health or safety of yourself or people around you, because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- will be outside your ward or council area
- will be more than 8km from a polling place
- will be travelling
- are seriously ill, disabled or approaching childbirth (or caring for someone who is)
- have religious beliefs that prevent you from attending
- are in prison or a correctional centre
- will be working
- are a silent elector (you must already be registered with the AEC as a silent elector)
- are a person with a disability
- believe that attending will pose a risk to your personal safety or the safety of your family
- are enrolled in the City of Sydney council
To be valid and counted, postal votes must be received by the NSWEC no later than 6.00pm Friday, 17 December.
Image: Northern Beaches Advocate