Health precautions for Qld council poll

Michael Doyle

QUEENSLAND'S ELECTORAL COMMISSION HAS REVISED PROCEDURES TO MAKE VOTING IN LOCAL BODY ELECTIONS SAFE AND DOCTORS RECOMMEND OTHER PRECAUTIONS AGAINST COVID-19

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE?

* Those attending 1100 polling stations around the state from 8am on Saturday will be issued with hand sanitiser along with extra pencils but can also bring their own.

* Tables and other surfaces will be wiped down regularly, booths and screens positioned to maintain 1.5m of separation and only 100 people allowed inside at a time.

WHAT ABOUT EARLY VOTING?

* By the time 8am on Saturday comes, more than one third of Queenslanders will have voted

* An unprecedented 570,000 postal voting applications were lodged while 26,000 people registered to vote by phone.

* Early polling booths were opened on March 16, with voting open until 9pm in the lead-up to election day.

WHAT IS THE HEALTH ADVICE?

* "Anyone who is sick should not be going to vote, at least in person. Second of all - people should keep their distance, and third of all - probably if the voting area is full of people, perhaps come back later." - Australia's deputy chief health officer Professor Paul Kelly.

* "We are recommending that those who have face masks to wear them when they are at the polling stations." - Australian Medical Association's Queensland branch president Dr Dilip Dhupelia