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Most expensive and complex elections ever!

The Australian Electoral Commission’s head, Tom Rogers, says this election will be Australia’s biggest, most expensive and likely most complex ever.

Voting day is Saturday, May 21. Polling places will be open from 8am to 6pm, local time. You can probably expect a delay at the voting booth due to the COVID-19 measures that will be in place on voting day, the AEC says.

Pre-poll voting starts 12 days before voting day, on May 9. You can vote early, either in person or by post for a whole range of reasons, including if you will be out of the electorate you are enrolled to vote in on voting day, are further than 8 kilometres from a voting booth, are seriously ill or about to give birth (or caring for someone who is), in hospital or prison, travelling or unable to leave work, or if you are a silent elector. You can also vote early if you have a reasonable fear for your safety.

Fear of getting COVID-19 “could be a reason” to justify an early vote in person or via post.

The last day to register for postal voting is the Wednesday before voting day, May 18. Visually impaired people can use the AEC’s telephone voting service.

The government enters the election holding 76 of the 150 seats, meaning it will need to keep the same number of seats to form a majority government. Labor, which has a nominal 69 seats thanks to some changed electoral boundaries, will need to pick up at least seven seats to win a majority.

As long as you are enrolled, you will have to show up on election day. There is a $20 administrative penalty for not doing so. But, if there is truly no candidate you support, you can cast an informal vote - which is a blank ballot with no candidates marked.

*Via Turkish News Press issue 202

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