There are no plans to postpone the looming council elections amid coronavirus fears and people who don’t vote will be fined if they lack a reasonable excuse.
There are no plans to postpone the looming council elections amid coronavirus fears and people who don’t vote will be fined if they lack a reasonable excuse.

Vote going ahead despite virus fears

COUNCIL elections will go ahead amid the coronavirus crisis, with authorities warning they will not waive fines for those who don't have a reasonable excuse for not voting.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland says it is closely monitoring the situation ahead of millions of Queenslanders heading to the ballot box on March 28.

An ECQ spokesman said the current advice from Queensland Health was that there was no need to take "additional precautions".

Queensland’s council election will go ahead on March 28. Photo: Renee Albrecht
Queensland’s council election will go ahead on March 28. Photo: Renee Albrecht

"The ECQ is providing advice to temporary election staff about measures recommended by Queensland Health, that members of the public should be taking normal precautions, such as good hand and respiratory hygiene," he said.

"The ECQ is able to respond should there be an increase in postal votes, although current trends in applications are broadly aligned with previous election events."

He confirmed there were no plans to waive the fines of voters who did not have a "valid reason" for not turning up on polling day.

Health Minister Steven Miles said there would be arrangements for voters unable to attend a booth on election day. "There are plenty of mechanisms ... I'd encourage them to visit the Electoral Commission website," he said.


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