Postal votes, early polling on the rise

·1-min read

Voters are expected to head to early polling booths in higher numbers for the federal election, the Australian Electoral Commission says.

The commission is also predicting more people to shun polling day on May 21, in favour of postal votes.

Electoral data shows an increase in early voting over the past few elections, with almost a third of the turnout in the 2019 election at an early voting centre.

This is a jump from 22 per cent of people opting to cast their vote before polling day in 2016.

"We expect to see an increase in postal voting and early voting at this federal election," a commission spokesman said.

The early voting period cannot begin more than 12 days out from election day.

As of Tuesday, the commission has received 1,652,606 valid applications for a postal vote for this election.

Electoral commissioner Tom Rogers told a Senate estimates hearing last month that people should turn up on election day over choosing to cast a postal vote.

"Sometimes there are some conspiracy theories about postal voting overseas ... none of that applies," Mr Rogers said.

"My view is ... (electoral law) requires people to vote on the day unless there's a reason for them not to vote then."

More than 500 early voting centres will be operational nationwide, with more than 100,000 temporary staff employed by the commission for the election period.

Early voting centres open from May 9.

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