How to vote if you have COVID-19

People who have COVID-19 can still vote in the federal election. Photo by Irene Dowdy

People who currently have COVID-19 can still vote in this election, they will just have to go about it differently.

Postal votes are available until 6pm on Wednesday, May 18, and after that a phone vote is possible.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said while elections are in-person community events, the Australian Electoral Commission continues to accommodate necessary changes for the global pandemic.

“We’re accounting for the pandemic in many aspects of election delivery, including options for COVID-19 positive voters in isolation,” Mr Rogers said.

“If you test positive today, or in the next few days, you’ll be in isolation until after polls close on Saturday, and need to apply for a postal vote.”

Postal vote applications are open until 6pm on Wednesday and available at

“Applications this late in the election period should only be submitted by voters who have no other voting option.”

“This will primarily be people who test positive to COVID-19, haven’t voted yet and won’t be out of isolation until after election day.”

There is a sting in the tail with postal votes and that is that they will not be counted on election night.

Postal vote counts have been brought forward in the counting timetable from 2019 when it commenced on the Tuesday after election day. Postal vote counts will begin on the Sunday afternoon following election day this federal election.

“If it’s a close result in individual seats, or overall in the House of Representatives, this level of postal votes makes an election night indication of who forms government less likely.”

People who test positive to COVID-19 from Thursday onwards, who haven’t already voted, and have missed the postal vote application deadline, will be able to access a telephone vote.

Information about the telephone voting service will be available to voters who need it once postal vote applications close.