2020 Media Statements

For all media enquiries please email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

The media information kit PDF (0.82 MB) for the 2020 State general election.

October

22 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: POSTAL VOTES ON THEIR WAY

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) revealed today more than 890,000 postal votes have been printed and progressively provided to Australia Post for delivery to electors across the state.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the enormity of the task of getting such a vast number of postal votes to electors within the voting timeframe, can’t be underestimated. Some electors have already received their ballot, voted and returned their vote to the ECQ so it can be included in the count on election night.

“For the ECQ, it is really exciting to have the first postal votes returned well before election day and see how electors are positively engaged with our democratic processes.

“At present, around 1000 postal votes have been returned and of course, many more thousands are still in transit.”

Mr Vidgen asks postal voters to think ‘the sooner the better’ when it comes to voting and make sure they are voting correctly.

“Every box on the ballot paper must be numbered in order of preference for the vote to be counted.

“After voting, sign and witness the declaration envelope, seal the ballot paper inside and send the envelope back to the ECQ straight away.

“The ECQ must receive the votes by the deadline of 10 November to be included in the count.

“Voting is one of the most important civic duties we can undertake, and I remind Queenslanders that voting is compulsory.”

To learn more about the 2020 State general election including early voting and election day polling booth locations and times, go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

21 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: NUMBER EVERY BOX TO MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) reminds electors that when voting in the 2020 State general election, every box on the ballot paper must be numbered in order of preference, starting with one.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said planning the way electors will have their say this election includes ensuring their ballot paper is filled out correctly and can be included in the count.

“Every vote is important, and we want every elector to have their say,” he said.

“State elections in Queensland have full preferential voting, meaning every box on the ballot paper must be numbered in order of preference starting with one.

“There are an unprecedented 597 candidates at this election with some electorates such as Mudgeeraba and Mermaid Beach with 10 names on their ballot paper, as well as Townsville and McConnel with nine; this can seem daunting when deciding who gets your vote.

“However, for your vote to count, you must preference every candidate.

“If you need help to do this – for example, if English is not your first language – then there are resources on our website and polling officials who can help you at the booth when you go to vote.”

Mr Vidgen said some political parties have chosen not to show the other party names on their how-to-vote cards, so electors should be clear about how they will allocate their preferences. Political campaigns can also bring into the public domain statements that are unproven or considered misleading. The ECQ urges voters to ‘stop and consider’ the information they receive during the election campaign.

“The ECQ is responsible for checking authorisation of election material but does not have a role in regulating the content of political advertising, other than statements about the process of voting or false statements about a person’s character or conduct,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Now more than ever and in the face of an avalanche of political information, electors are having to carefully consider the way they’ll have their say,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Every elector is free to follow a party’s how-to-vote card or to make their own preference choices.

“The key message is, to ensure your vote counts, number every box on your ballot paper starting with one.”

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

19 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: FUNDING AND DISCLOSURE COMPLIANCE IS 24/7/365

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) reminds all election stakeholders funding and disclosure compliance laws apply and are scrutinised year-round, not just during election periods.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the ECQ’s role is to monitor compliance, investigate suspected breaches and, if found, enforce penalties according to the law.

“There are significant penalties for breaches of electoral disclosure laws, including a maximum penalty for knowingly making or accepting a prohibited donation of a $53,380 fine, or 2 years’ imprisonment,” he said.

“I remind candidates, political parties, third parties and associated entities that the law applies 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and 365 days per year, and actions taken within the election period are still answerable beyond the declaring of the election,” he said.

“Property developers must remember they are prohibited donors and it is an offence to donate to a registered political party.

“If anyone is unsure whether a business is a prohibited donor or a close associate, they can apply to the ECQ for a determination, or individuals can use the ECQ’s self-assessment tool available on our website.

“I strongly advise anyone who is unsure about their status to ask for a determination by the ECQ well before considering donating.”

Mr Vidgen said the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) recently issued an open letter to candidates citing key recommendations from Operation Belcarra including a ban on donations from property developers.

“I would reiterate the CCC’s request that candidates are vigilant in ensuring their actions do not compromise their integrity, so that confidence is maintained in our political and democratic processes.

“In addition to the ECQ’s ongoing compliance activities, the CCC will also be proactively collating information from various sources including donations being made to registered political parties and candidates to better understand whether these give rise to any new or emerging corruption risks.

“If evidence of a breach is provided to the ECQ either through referrals or discovered via self-generated audits, the ECQ will launch a confidential investigation.

“The ECQ does not discuss specific matters, nor will it confirm or deny if it is undertaking investigation or enforcement action.

“This prevents even inadvertent prejudice generated through media or public discourse.

“I say again, it is every donor’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the law and political parties and candidates must also ensure they do not accept prohibited donations,” Mr Vidgen said.

All donation and compliance information is available on the ECQ’s website, with specific details provided for political parties, candidates, third parties and associated entities.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

19 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: EARLY VOTE FROM MONDAY

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is encouraging electors to vote early in the 2020 State general election at one of the 200 early voting centres across Queensland, from Monday 19 October through to Friday 30 October.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said two weeks of extended early voting across Queensland combined with sensible health measures implemented in polling booths, were part of the ECQ’s commitment to delivering a COVID-safe State general election.

“The ECQ wants all electors who are voting in person to have a streamlined and COVID-safe voting experience,” Mr Vidgen said.

“There are some very simple and proven steps we can all take to ensure voting is done easily and safely.

“We ask electors to plan the way they’ll have their say in the 2020 State general election.

“This means thinking about their vote before they get to the polling booth, bringing their Voter Information Card if they have one, staying 1.5 metres apart when voting, using hand sanitiser, and bringing a pen or pencil if they wish.

“The ECQ has employed queue management staff and has designed polling booths to create an efficient voting experience.”

The distribution of how-to-vote cards will be allowable for the election, in accordance with a Direction issued by the ECQ.  However, campaign workers will need to comply with social distancing guidelines and hygiene standards and not re-use how-to-vote cards.

Mr Vidgen reiterated that it is the voter’s choice about whether they take how-to-vote cards being distributed by any campaign worker.

Mr Vidgen said many early voting centres will be open from 9am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; from 9am to 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 9am to 5pm on Saturday 24 October. Electors should check the ECQ website for the most up-to-date voting locations, days and times.

“Making voting available on the Saturday before election day is happening for the very first time for a Queensland general election,” he said.

“Nearly half of all electors chose early voting in the March local government elections.

“This helped deliver fewer and shorter queues, electors averaging around three minutes in a polling booth according to an elector survey, lower voting numbers on election day, and no spike in COVID-19 infections following the election period.

“Currently there’s an ECQ information campaign running across social media and digital platforms that is sharing health advice with electors.

“On election day Saturday 31 October, approximately 1,300 voting centres across Queensland will be open from 8am to 6pm, and I remind electors that voting is compulsory,” Mr Vidgen said.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

16 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: KEY PARTNERSHIPS DELIVERING FOR VOTERS

The Electoral Commission of Queensland said key partnerships are crucial to the delivery of the 2020 State general election, including those with Brisbane-based printers Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions and Printcraft, as well as Australia Post and TOLL.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said delivering an election is a vast and complex logistical exercise and the role of partners can’t be underestimated.

“We are now in the process of printing seven million ballot papers, including a record number of postal ballots which are being delivered to postal voters via Australia Post.

“It’s essential to ensure there are enough ballot papers for all 200 early voting and 1,300 election day polling booths for the total voting period, especially now that COVID-19 has had an impact on delivery times.

“This huge printing and delivery endeavour is part of delivering democracy to electors across Queensland and I thank partners Fuji Xerox DMS, Printcraft, Australia Post and TOLL for their dedication to this process,” Mr Vidgen said.

Fuji Xerox DMS is responsible for producing over 600,000 postal ballots and Printcraft is producing around 200,000 postal ballots. The last postal ballots printed will be lodged with Australia Post on 21 October.

Managing Director of Fuji Xerox DMS Brett Matthews said it was a privilege to be a partner in delivering democracy to Queensland.

“COVID-19 has shifted the way we interact on a number of levels.

“As an agile business Fuji Xerox DMS has been able to scale and adapt our service offering and along with the Electoral Commission, to provide a solution that best supports the people and Government of Queensland.

“Producing postal vote material demands expertise, a robust process and enhanced technology to meet strict deadlines, all of which are attributes Fuji Xerox DMS sees as its core business,” Mr Matthews said.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said postal votes are now progressively being securely transferred to Australia Post to be sent to electors across Queensland.

“Postal vote applications close at 7pm on Friday 16 October and more than 787,000 Queenslanders have already applied.

“This is a record number of postal vote applications for a Queensland election, and those voters can be assured that our printers are working around the clock to print all the required ballots so they can be lodged with Australia Post for delivery around the state.

“Electors who have opted to postal vote are urged to vote, sign, witness and mail their vote as soon as they receive them so they can reach the ECQ before the deadline of 10 November.

“Even if electors have applied for a postal vote, they can still choose to vote in person during early voting or on election day.

“They will be marked off the electoral roll, so will only be able to vote once.

“All voting, including postal voting, must be completed by 6pm on election day, Saturday 31 October,” Mr Vidgen said.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

END

14 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: YOUR VIC IS ON ITS WAY

The Electoral Commission of Queensland says voter information cards for the 2020 State general election are on their way to Queenslanders on the electoral roll.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the voter information cards or VICs are designed to provide information about the election and aid the voting process with a QR code containing electors’ enrolment details.

“The VIC provides electors with information about the type of election, key dates, the name of their electorate, voting options and details on where to access further election information,” Mr Vidgen said.

“The QR code makes it quicker to mark electors off the roll when they vote in person.

“Bringing a VIC when you vote is not essential: but the VIC will make it quick.

“Postal voters in the 2020 State general election will still receive a VIC so they’re aware of voting options, however electors who are registered as special postal voters will not receive a VIC.

“Voters should also be aware that, even if they have applied for a postal vote, they can still choose to go to a polling booth and vote in person. They will be marked off the roll and will only be able to vote once.”

Mr Vidgen said early voting begins on Monday 19 October from 9am to 6pm through to Friday 30 October with late night voting on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 9pm, as well as voting from 9am to 5pm on Saturday 24 October. There is no voting on Sundays.

“Election day is Saturday 31 October with voting between 8am and 6pm and all voting locations and times are on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au,” he said.

Any electors planning to vote in person who do not receive a VIC are still able to vote easily at a polling booth by providing their details but may need to update their details on the electoral roll.

It’s easy to make sure you’re correctly enrolled by going to aec.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

13 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: DEMOCRACY SAUSAGES BACK ON THE MENU, BUT CAUTION REQUIRED

The Electoral Commission of Queensland said fundraising activities will proceed at voting venues for the upcoming election, including the sale of the iconic ‘democracy sausage’.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said it was great to see the return of the Australian favourite for the 2020 State general election period but reminded electors that all COVID-19 health requirements were still relevant.

“Fundraising activities at election time are often an important activity for community organisations and schools,” he said.

“During the March local government elections, the emergence of COVID-19 meant democracy sausages and cake stalls were put on hold; fortunately, we are in a much better place now.

“However, the onus is on the fundraising organisers and volunteers to ensure they are following the relevant COVID-19 guidelines.”

“The ECQ has developed an Election Service Plan that details how voting venues remain COVID-safe and ensures electors can move through the voting process easily and safely.

“This means any fundraising activities must provide clear access for electors to and from the voting venue, and practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and regular cleaning.”

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said as long as everyone follows the rules, it would be safe to vote.

“While many across the state would have already voted before election day, those in the community going out to vote have a few things to keep in mind.

“As always, if you’re sick, stay home.

“Take your voter information card with you, and your own pen or pencil.

“Remember to social distance, think two big steps apart from other people, and leave the venue right after voting.

“We’ve made great progress across the state over the past few months, but it is critical not to get complacent.”

Sausage sizzles are considered a take-away food venue and are required to comply with the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction.

Organisers will need to follow the Industry Plan for Food Services. More information is available at covid19.qld.gov.au

A democracy sausage sizzle does not require an event checklist, unless it’s part of a bigger event involving other activities.

ECQ media contact: 0438 120 699, media@ecq.qld.gov.au

Health Media and Issues Team: 0438 209 619

Resources

12 October 2020

AURUKUN COUNCIL BY-ELECTION CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is delivering a local government by-election for the Aurukun Shire Council following the resignation of a councillor.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said nominations for candidates closed today and a draw was conducted to randomly allocate each candidate a position on the ballot paper.

“There are two candidates vying for the one council position: Dereck Walpo and Jayden Marrott,” he said.

“Electors will have the option of voting early or on election day on 31 October in both the council and State general elections.

“For community members currently staying in Cairns, early voting is at 2/248-250 Hartley Street, Bungalow between 9am and 6pm on Monday 26, Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 October, with late night voting available on Tuesday 27 and Thursday 29 October between 9am and 9pm.

“There is also early voting in Aurukun at the Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre between 9am and 6pm on Friday 30 October.

“Election day voting will be available in Aurukun at Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 31 October. There is no council election day voting in Cairns.”

Mr Vidgen said Aurukun electors will need to use different voting systems for their State and Council ballot papers.

“The State general election is full preferential voting which means numbering every box on the ballot paper in order of preference starting with one.

“For the council, it’s first-past-the-post so electors just need to number at least one box on their ballot paper, as there is only one position being elected.”

If an elector wants to postal vote for both the State general election and Aurukun by-election, they must apply before 7pm on Friday 16 October. If they are only applying for the Aurukun by-election, they can apply up to Monday 19 October.

“It’s very easy to apply for a postal vote online at ecq.qld.gov.au or by calling 1300 881 665,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Electors not currently living at their enrolled address, can have their postal vote sent to the address where they are staying.”

Mr Vidgen said that under the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act), the council can choose to fill the vacancy through a by-election or through appointment of the runner-up.

“The Aurukun Shire Council has resolved to conduct a by-election to fill the vacancy.

“The Act requires a by-election to be held within 12 weeks of a councillor’s resignation so as the resignation occurred on 20 August, the by-election had to be held by 12 November 2020.

“Wherever possible, the ECQ has aligned key State general election dates with those for the by-election,” he said.

Information about the Aurukun by-election and the 2020 State general election is available on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Aurukun by-election timetable

Milestone

Date

Notice of Election

Saturday 3 October

Postal vote applications

Open until Monday 19 October

Candidate nominations

Saturday 3 October to noon Monday 12 October

Close of electoral roll

Saturday 10 October

Early voting AURUKUN

When

Friday 30 October - 9am to 6pm

Where

Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre

524 Tai Tai Street, Aurukun

Early voting CAIRNS

When

Monday 26 October to Thursday 29 October - 9am to 5pm

Friday 30 October - 9am to 6pm

Where

2/248-250 Hartley Street, Bungalow, Cairns

How to vote

When voting for your councillor

Number at least 1 box on the ballot paper.

When voting for your State Member of Parliament

Number every box on the ballot paper in your order of preference, starting with 1.

Election day voting

Saturday 31 October in Aurukun at Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre, 524 Tai Tai Street, Aurukun

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

11 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: RECORD 12 POLITICAL PARTIES AND 597 CANDIDATES NOMINATE FOR ELECTION

The Electoral Commission of Queensland says following the close of nominations and the completion of the ballot paper order draw, candidates for the 2020 State general election can be formally announced.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said there are 597 candidates across Queensland’s 93 electorates competing for Queenslanders’ votes in 2020.

“This year’s State general election sees 144 more candidates than in 2017, where 453 ran for parliament.

“A vibrant democracy needs a strong contest of ideas and it’s exciting to see a record-breaking 12 registered political parties endorsing candidates, as well as a large cohort of non-endorsed candidates, all throwing their hat into the political ring to vie for the opportunity to represent their communities in State Parliament.

“Queenslanders can now find the candidates running in their electorate via the ECQ’s 2020 State general election webpage.”

Mr Vidgen said the printing of ballot papers will now begin following the ballot paper order draw, and that also means postal votes will start to go out to electors who have applied for them.

“Postal votes will start being sent from tomorrow, 12 October, but due to the large number of applications to date, ballot material will be sent progressively.

“Once an elector receives their envelope, we urge them act immediately and vote, sign, witness and send their envelope back to the ECQ.

“For postal votes to be included in the count they must be back to the ECQ by 10 November at the very latest, so getting them in the mail sooner, is better,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said the large number of candidates in this election will also have an impact on the time taken to count and there may be a more complex and time-consuming distribution of preferences, especially where there is a large number of candidates contesting the seat.

A list of all candidates is available on the ECQ website in ballot paper order here.

The non-endorsed and political party candidate numbers are listed below:

  • 93 Australian Labor Party (State of Queensland)
  • 93 Liberal National Party of Queensland
  • 93 Queensland Greens
  • 90 Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Queensland Division
  • 55 Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party
  • 31 Informed Medical Options Party
  • 23 Legalise Cannabis QLD (Party)
  • 16 Civil Liberties and Motorists Party
  • 13 Animal Justice Party (Queensland)
  • 13 Katter’s Australia Party
  • 5 North Queensland First
  • 3 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (QLD)
  • 69 non-endorsed/independent.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

8 October 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: CANDIDATE NOMINATIONS CLOSE AT NOON, SUNDAY 11 OCTOBER

The Electoral Commission of Queensland says candidate nominations for the 2020 State general election close at noon on Sunday 11 October.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen urges anyone interested in being a candidate in the election to nominate now so they don’t miss the upcoming deadline.

“Running for public office is a very significant step for anyone and it’s important to know and understand your obligations as part of the nomination process.

“There are specific rules around nominations that must be followed.

“Candidates require a deposit of $250, and if endorsed by a registered political party, must be nominated by the registered officer or deputy registered officer of the party.

“Independent/non-endorsed candidates must be nominated by at least six electors with current enrolment in their electoral district.

“However, as a safeguard, the ECQ encourages these candidates to seek nominations from more than six electors with current enrolment in their electoral district, to make sure they will be eligible to stand.”

Mr Vidgen said there are changes to funding and disclosure rules for this election including the requirements for candidates to show they have a dedicated campaign bank account.

“It’s crucial candidates, registered political parties, associated entities, groups and individuals are aware of the requirements and obligations and nominate as early as possible so any errors or concerns can be addressed before the deadline.

“Once nominations close, the ballot paper order draw is undertaken and the ballot papers are printed,” he said.

Anyone interested in nominating as a candidate in the 2020 State general election should visit the ECQ website and carefully review the requirements and then nominate as soon as possible.

Details of all nominated candidates will be published on the ECQ website following the close of nominations and the ballot paper order draw.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

6 October 2020

WRIT ISSUED FOR THE QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: CANDIDATE NOMINATIONS OPEN TOMORROW

The writ marking the start of the election period for the 2020 Queensland general election has been issued today by the Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the issue of the writ puts into motion the election timetable for October’s poll.

“With the writ issued today, we can open candidate nominations tomorrow Wednesday 7 October and they will close at noon on Sunday 11 October,” Mr Vidgen said.

“While many have already publicly thrown their hat into the ring, there is still a process that must be followed when nominating to run in an election.

“Candidates require a deposit of $250, must be nominated either by the registered officer of a registered political party, or if non-endorsed, by six persons or more enrolled in the electoral district, none of whom have previously nominated a candidate for the election.

“As there are specific rules around nominations, independent/non-endorsed candidates are encouraged to seek nominations from more than six electors with current enrolment in their electoral district, to make sure they will be eligible to stand.

“There are also changes to funding and disclosure rules for this election including the requirements for candidates to show they have a dedicated campaign bank account.

“It is important candidates, registered political parties, associated entities, groups and individuals are aware of the requirements and obligations,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said that following the close of candidate nominations, the ballot paper order draw will be undertaken on the afternoon of Sunday 11 October and then the ballot papers are printed.

ECQ Returning Officers will be working over the weekend to accept and process candidate nominations and conduct the ballot draw so that ballot paper printing can start as soon as possible.

“Once the ballot papers have been printed, the ECQ can begin sending them to electors who have registered for a postal vote.

“We encourage postal voters to vote, sign, witness and return their ballot paper in the envelope as soon as possible, to ensure it can be included in the count before the deadline on 10 November.”

Mr Vidgen said anyone interested in nominating as a candidate in the 2020 State general election should visit the ECQ website and carefully review the requirements and then nominate as soon as possible.

Further details of the election timetable and other election information are also available on the ECQ’s website.

Early voting will commence from Monday 19 October, in over 200 locations across the state and will be operating with extended opening hours for the two-week period to 30 October, including on Saturday 24 October.

Election day is Saturday 31 October, and approximately 1,300 polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

2 October 2020

AURUKUN VOTING FOR NEW COUNCILLOR AT BY-ELECTION

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is delivering a local government by-election for the Aurukun Shire Council following the resignation of a councillor recently elected at the March local government elections.

The ECQ’s Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the election will coincide with timing for the 2020 State general election.

“The community of Aurukun will vote for both their state Member of Parliament and a new councillor,” he said.

“Electors will have the choice of voting early in person in Aurukun at the Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre between 9am and 6pm on Friday 30 October.

“For those community members currently staying in Cairns, voting is at 2/248-250 Hartley Street, Bungalow between 9am and 6pm on Monday 26, Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 October, with late night voting available on Tuesday 28 and Thursday 29 October between 9am and 9pm.

“Election day voting will be available in Aurukun at a venue to be confirmed between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 31 October.”

Mr Vidgen said if an elector wants to postal vote for both the State general election and Aurukun by-election, they must apply before 7pm on Friday 16 October. If they are only applying for the Aurukun by-election, they can apply up to Monday 19 October.

“It’s very easy to apply for a postal vote online at ecq.qld.gov.au/postal or by calling 1300 881 665.

“Electors not currently living at their enrolled address, can have their postal vote sent to the address where they are staying.”

Mr Vidgen said that under the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act), the Council can choose to fill the vacancy through a by-election or through appointment of the runner-up.

“The Aurukun Shire Council has resolved to conduct a by-election to fill the vacancy.

“The Act requires a by-election to be held within 12 weeks of a councillor’s resignation so as the resignation occurred on 20 August, the by-election had to be held by 12 November 2020.

“Wherever possible, the ECQ has aligned key State general election dates with those for the by-election,” he said.

Information about the Aurukun by-election and the 2020 State general election is available on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Aurukun by-election timeline

Milestone

Date

Notice of Election

Saturday 3 October

Postal vote applications

Open until Monday 19 October

Candidate nominations

Saturday 3 October to Monday 12 October

Close of electoral roll

Saturday 10 October

Early voting

Aurukun

  • Friday 30 October, 9am to 6pm at the Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre, 524 Tai Tai Street, Aurukun

Cairns

  • Monday 26 October to Thursday 29 October, 9am to 5pm, and
  • Friday 30 October, 9am to 6pm at

2/248-250 Hartley Street, Bungalow

Election day voting

Saturday 31 October in Aurukun at a location to be confirmed

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

1 October 2020

QLD GENERAL ELECTION: EARLY VOTING CENTRE LOCATIONS ONLINE NOW

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has listed approximately 200 early voting centres and opening hours for the Queensland general election on its website in preparation for the start of early voting on Monday 19 October.

The ECQ’s Commissioner Pat Vidgen said listing the early voting centre locations now meant electors could begin to plan the way to have their say for the 2020 State general election.

“The ECQ is asking electors to plan ahead this election period,” Mr Vidgen said.

“One way we can make this easier is for voters to choose the most convenient early voting centre location, and the times they will be able to vote.  Current locations and opening hours are now on our website, with some additional early voting centres still being confirmed.

“I encourage electors to go to the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au and check the opening times of the early voting centres nearest to them.”

Mr Vidgen said the ECQ is working to ensure electors have an easy and COVID-safe voting experience during the October State general election.

“Our message is: plan your vote, know where and when you’ll vote, ensure you stay 1.5 metres apart, use hand sanitiser, and bring your own pen and pencil.

“For electors choosing to vote in person, they can vote early from Monday 19 October to Friday 30 October or on election day Saturday 31 October.

“Most early voting centres will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 6pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 9pm to allow for late night voting.

“For the first time in a State general election, there’s voting on Saturday 24 October between 9am and 5pm.

“Voting on election day is between 8am and 6pm.

“With 200 early voting centres and more than 1,300 election day polling booths across Queensland as well as postal voting, electors have many easily accessible voting options,” Mr Vidgen said.

For all early voting centre and State general election information go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

September

30 September 2020

QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: ELECTORAL EXPENDITURE CHANGES NOW IN EFFECT

Electoral expenditure changes are now in effect for the State general election following changes to the Electoral Act 1992 (the Act) passed by the Queensland Parliament in June this year.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said candidates, registered political parties, associated entities and third parties have caps on their electoral expenditure beginning 1 August and extending through to and including election day, Saturday 31 October.

“All those running in or supporting candidates in the 2020 State general election need to be aware of the changes to the Act and abide by them,” he said.

“Electoral expenditure for State general elections and by-elections is determined by when the goods or services are supplied or delivered, or when first used for a campaign purpose.

“For the 2020 election, goods or services supplied prior to the commencement of the new laws on 1 August, may count towards the expenditure cap if they are used for the campaign during the capped period.

“Electoral participants including candidates, registered political parties, associated entities and third parties, are required to disclose all electoral expenditure in an election summary return, which is lodged with the ECQ after the election via the ECQ’s Electronic Disclosure System,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said the ECQ has written to political parties and other stakeholders about the electoral expenditure changes to ensure they are aware of their obligations to not exceed their caps.

“It’s important all stakeholders are diligent about complying with the new laws and to assist with this, the ECQ’s website has clear information to help support electoral participants.

“Donation caps do not apply to the 2020 State general election however, these will commence in 2022.

“For future State general elections, the expenditure cap period will begin around the end of March and finish on election day. Cap amounts are CPI adjusted after each general election,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said that under section 281J of the Electoral Act 1992, non-compliance with the caps during a capped expenditure period for an election is an offence with substantial penalties. In addition to potential prosecution, the ECQ may recover double the value of the expenditure that exceeded the cap amount as a debt to the State.

Expenditure caps for the 2020 Queensland general election

An independent candidate can spend up to

$87,000 in total for their election campaign

party-endorsed candidate can spend up to

$58,000 in total for their election campaign

This is in addition to the amount their party may spend on their campaign.

registered political party can spend up to

$92,000 per electoral district

The total spend is the number of electoral districts where they have endorsed candidates x $92,000.

An associated entity

Electoral expenditure incurred for an election by an associated entity of a registered political party is taken to have been incurred by the party, so expenditure is included under the party’s total cap amount.

third party can spend up to

$87,000 per electoral district for a general election

Up to $1 million for the election in total (State-wide).

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

28 September 2020

QLD GENERAL ELECTION: EARLY VOTING CENTRE LOCATIONS ONLINE NOW

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has listed approximately 200 early voting centres for the Queensland general election on its website in preparation for the start of early voting on Monday 19 October.

The ECQ’s Commissioner Pat Vidgen said listing the early voting centre locations now meant electors could begin to plan the way to have their say for the 2020 State general election.

“The ECQ is asking electors to plan ahead this election period,” Mr Vidgen said.

“One way we can make this easier is to list the early voting centre locations and their opening times, which are now on our website.

“I encourage electors to go to the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au and check the opening times of the early voting centres nearest to them.”

Mr Vidgen said the ECQ is working to ensure electors have an easy and COVID-safe voting experience during the October State general election.

“Our message is: plan your vote, know where and when you’ll vote, ensure you stay 1.5 metres apart, use hand sanitiser, and bring your own pen and pencil.

“For electors choosing to vote in person, they can vote early from Monday 19 October to Friday 30 October or on election day Saturday 31 October.

“Early voting centres will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 6pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 9pm to allow for late night voting.

“For the first time in a State general election, there’s voting on Saturday 24 October between 9am and 5pm.

“Voting on election day is between 8am and 6pm.

“With 200 early voting centres and more than 1,300 election day polling booths across Queensland as well as postal voting, electors have many easily accessible voting options,” Mr Vidgen said.

For all early voting centre and State general election information go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

25 September 2020

ECQ REMINDS VOTERS: MAKE SURE YOU'RE CORRECTLY ENROLLED

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is reminding Queenslanders to make sure they’re correctly enrolled before the State general election in October.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said people often forget to update their enrolment following the busyness around moving or starting university.

“Moving to a new house, leaving home for the first time, starting a new job in a new city, or turning 18, are all intense experiences and sometimes enrolling to vote or updating enrolment is forgotten,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Now is a perfect time to check, enrol or update enrolment as the State general election is just around the corner with election day on Saturday 31 October.

“Being correctly enrolled means your voter information card or postal vote arrives at the right address and if you vote in person, you are processed quickly through the polling booth.”

Mr Vidgen said the enrolment process was simple to do online and only takes a few minutes.

“The Australian Electoral Commission maintains the electoral roll for all electoral commissions across the country,” he said.

“By simply going to aec.gov.au electors can select if they need to enrol for the first time, check their enrolment or update their details.

“Even those experiencing homelessness can be enrolled under the special enrolment option of people with no fixed address.

Provisional enrolment is also available for soon-to-be voters who are 16 or 17.

“Enrolling and voting are compulsory in Australia, so I urge all Queenslanders to go online now and make sure they’re correctly enrolled.”

Mr Vidgen said preparations are well advanced to deliver a COVID-safe State general election in October with the ECQ issuing an Election Service Plan outlining activities being undertaken.

“We are planning for an election period that includes postal vote applications from mid-September, two weeks of extended early voting, and election day voting from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 31 October,” he said.

“We will again implement a range of health measures at all polling booths to ensure electors can safely participate in our democracy and elect their next State government.”

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

9 September 2020

2020 QUEENSLAND GENERAL ELECTION: POSTAL VOTE APPLICATIONS OPEN MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) says postal vote applications for the 2020 State general election open on Monday 14 September and close on Friday 16 October.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the option to apply for a postal vote weeks before the start of the election period, will support electors who may not want to vote in person due to COVID-19.

“The ECQ is working to ensure Queensland electors have every opportunity to vote for their representative in the next Parliament,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Usually postal vote applications open with the issue of the writ, which begins the election period.

“However, with COVID-19 still a factor, we anticipate strong interest in postal voting just as we saw in March’s local government elections where around 570,000 electors applied.

“While electors can apply for a postal vote on the ECQ website or by phoning the ECQ’s call centre from Monday 14 September, we can’t mail the ballot papers until after candidate nominations close in mid-October.

“We remind electors who applied for a postal vote in March and want to postal vote in October, they need to apply again,” he said.

The ECQ is also establishing special postal voting arrangements for residents of certain aged care facilities which would usually receive a mobile polling service as a ‘declared institution’.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to protect vulnerable residents, the ECQ is unable to provide this service for this election. However, the ECQ will streamline the postal vote process for these facilities, to make sure it is easy for residents to vote by post if that is their preference.

Mr Vidgen said electors can be assured ECQ is ready to deliver a COVID-safe State general election with its Statement of Intent outlining the election’s delivery principles.

“We are planning for an election period with two weeks of extended early voting days and hours, including voting on Saturday 24 October as well as election day voting between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 31 October,” he said.

“To ensure voting in person can be as streamlined as possible, we ask electors to ‘plan the way they’ll have their say’.

“That means planning their vote, choosing where and when they’ll vote, staying 1.5 metres apart, using hand sanitiser and bringing their own pen or pencil.

“The ECQ continues to take the advice of the Chief Health Officer in safely managing voting in Queensland.

“It’s important to note that due to everyone’s careful adherence to health advice during the March local government elections, there was no subsequent spike in COVID-19 infections,” he said.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

  • To apply via the call centre from Monday 14 September, phone 1300 881 665.
  • To make sure you’re correctly enrolled go to aec.gov.au.
  • To read the ECQ’s 2020 State general election Statement of Intent.
  • ECQ media statements are at ecq.qld.gov.au/media.

August

5 August 2020

ECQ NON-VOTER RESPONSE TAILORED TO CIRCUMSTANCES

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is implementing a tailored response to non-voters from the March local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamba by-elections.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the elections were delivered under challenging circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying during the election period.

“The ECQ recognises that many electors who wanted to vote in the local government elections or by-elections, may not have voted due to a heightened anxiety about COVID-19,” Mr Vidgen said.

“While voting is compulsory, we understand the extraordinary circumstances around the March elections and have tailored our response to non-voters accordingly.”

Mr Vidgen said the election data shows that around 270,000 Queensland electors were first-time non-voters in March.

“In recognition of the unprecedented circumstances of delivering the elections during an unfolding global pandemic, first-time non-voters will not be fined or receive a warning from the ECQ,” he said.

“However, we remind electors that voting is compulsory and, with expanded voting options for the October State general election, concerns over COVID-19 won’t be considered a valid reason for not voting.

“In coming weeks around 30,000 electors will receive a warning letter because they have missed voting in more than one election, including March, and have not provided an excuse or responded to the ECQ.

“The approximately 20,000 electors who are repeat non-voters across multiple elections and have made no effort to engage with the ECQ, will be sent an ‘apparent failure to vote’ notice and be invited to explain their reason for not voting.

“If they are unable to provide a valid reason, or do not engage with the ECQ, they will receive a fine.”

Mr Vidgen said preparations are well advanced to deliver a COVID-safe State general election in October with the ECQ issuing a Statement of Intent outlining the election’s delivery principles.

“The ECQ is using all the lessons from March to ensure a safe and fair general election in October,” he said.

“This means voters will be provided with every opportunity to vote while accommodating health requirements.

“We urge electors to plan for the election, to choose whether they’ll postal vote, vote early or on election day, and be clear about their choice of candidate and their order of preferences.”

Mr Vidgen said ECQ staff are pleased to have delivered the March local government elections without a spike in COVID-19.

“This excellent outcome was due to careful adherence to the Chief Health Officer’s advice, the diligence of our staff, and the sensible response by electors when voting.

“For the State election, we will again implement a range of health measures as well as extended voting opportunities to ensure electors can safely participate in our democracy and elect their next state government,” Mr Vidgen said.

Updates the State general election will be available at ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/election-events/2020-state-general-election

July

14 July 2020

THE ECQ FOCUSSED ON DELIVERING FAIR AND SAFE ELECTIONS FOR QUEENSLANDERS

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is focussed on delivering fair and safe elections for Queenslanders including ensuring security is safeguarded at all levels of the electoral process.

Queensland’s Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said recent media reports casting doubt on the safety of electoral information were false.

“Queensland electoral information is safely stored within Australia and not accessible to offshore entities as claimed,” Mr Vidgen said.

“It’s disturbing to see reports making false statements about the ECQ’s Election Management System.

“The EMS is an administrative system designed to support election processes.

“It does not conduct elections, nor conduct electronic voting, count votes or determine election outcomes.

“To state that the electoral roll, which is managed by the Australian Electoral Commission, is somehow compromised is incorrect,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said the EMS is subject to ongoing review and testing by Australia’s cyber security experts.

“The Australian Cyber Security Centre completed an assessment of the EMS to ensure all steps were being taken to safeguard its security,” he said.

“In addition, the ECQ is working closely with Commonwealth and Queensland cyber security agencies, the Commonwealth Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce, the Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group and the Queensland Police Service to ensure appropriate cyber security protections are in place for the EMS and across ECQ’s operations.”

Mr Vidgen said the implication that election outcomes could be interfered with are also untrue.

“All vote counting is undertaken by ECQ election staff and results are checked and verified through multiple stages prior to declaration of election outcomes.

“The conflating of the delay in publishing election results from the local government elections on election night in March with the development of the EMS is also incorrect.

“The delay in publishing election results was caused by an issue with the feed of data to the election results website.

“This was clearly stated in the ECQ’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s online publication of preliminary and formal counts of votes cast in the local government elections and state by-elections held on 28 March 2020.

“The ECQ is dedicated to delivering fair and safe elections for all Queenslanders,’ Mr Vidgen said.

15 July 2020

ECQ PLANS UNDERWAY FOR COVID-SAFE STATE GENERAL ELECTION

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has released a Statement of Intent outlining the principles it will apply to ensuring voting in October’s state general election occurs in a safe and fair manner.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the principles centre on three factors: health advice from the Chief Health Officer; successful provisions implemented during March’s local government elections; and ensuring electors are enfranchised.

“Ensuring electors can vote in a convenient and COVID-safe way forms the basis of ECQ’s Statement of Intent,” he said.

“As we did during the local government elections, we will incorporate COVID-safe practices, expand early voting days and hours, as well as cater for an increased interest in postal voting.

“ECQ’s COVID-safe initiatives implemented during the March elections were very successful with no spike in COVID infections following the election period.

“The ECQ is dedicated to ensuring that in October, Queenslanders can vote for their state representatives as easily, safely and conveniently as possible,” Mr Vidgen said.

The ECQ’s guiding principles in delivering the 2020 state general election centre on:

Election implementation

  • Expanded voting services to ensure electors have a range of voting options
  • Applications for postal votes to open early
  • Additional postal voting capacity
  • Additional capacity for the ECQ Call Centre
  • Facilitating political participation through how-to-vote messaging and scrutineering of vote counting while respecting health protections
  • Specific election-related information included on the ECQ website
Election health measures
  • Ongoing health guidance provided from the Chief Health Officer
  • Key health measures:
    • Plan your vote
    • Choose where and when to vote
    • Stay 1.5m apart
    • Use hand sanitiser
    • Bring your own pen or pencil
  • Additional staff employed for queue control
  • Any additional measures recommended by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer prior to the election.
ECQ’s Statement of Intent aligns with the Queensland Government’s Statement of principles governing the conduct of the COVID-19 Queensland General Election.

All election specific information will be available at ecq.qld.gov.au in coming months.

April

20 April 2020

ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION RESULTS DECLARED

The ECQ has formally declared all 578 mayor and councillor roles decided in the 2020 local government elections.

“All of Queensland’s 77 local governments can now continue their important work for their communities in these extraordinary times,” said Electoral Commissioner, Mr Pat Vidgen.

“I would like to thank the more than 75 per cent of eligible Queenslanders who voted either on the day, at early polling stations or with a postal vote. This compares favourably with 83 per cent at the 2016 local government elections,” he said.

“The high number of postal votes and extra social distancing measures required during counting have meant that it has taken us a little longer to declare all results as each postal vote requires additional scrutiny before being included in the count,” said Mr Vidgen.

In 2016, all councils were declared 2½ weeks out from election day. In 2020, that has been a little over three weeks.

“We are already considering how the State election will be delivered later this year, and have been providing advice to the Government about this” said Mr Vidgen.

Under the Queensland Constitution, a State general election must be held in 2020.

March

29 March 2020

COUNT CONTINUING IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

The preliminary count was conducted in the local government elections as scheduled following the close of polling on election day, 28 March 2020.

Due to a technical issue with the data feed from polling booths to the ECQ’s results website, the publication of the preliminary count results was delayed.

This did not affect the count process itself or the recording of results from over 1,000 polling booths around the state.

The ECQ worked immediately to address the issues with the data feed, with all results from the preliminary count published on the website by 11.45pm.

To ensure transparency of the counting process while the publication of results was delayed, the ECQ contacted all candidates and political parties to advise that they would be admitted to polling booths to scrutinise the voting process.

This followed the issuing of a Direction to prohibit scrutineers from the preliminary count due to social distancing measures required to minimise health risks of COVID-19.

All candidates and political parties were kept informed throughout the preliminary count process, including notification of the publication of full results.

Under legislation, the counting of votes is undertaken in a number of stages:

  • The preliminary count, conducted following the close of polls is an unofficial count of results undertaken at a polling booth level. Not all votes, such as postal votes and most of the votes cast during the early voting period, are counted during the preliminary count.
  • The official count commences from Sunday (commencement times vary depending on individual locations) under the supervision of the relevant Returning Officer. The preliminary count is always counted again as part of the official count and declaration and postal vote scrutiny commences.

Depending on the number and composition of votes cast in an election, the official count process can take up to two weeks.  The large number of postal votes sent in the local government elections (approximately 570,000) and new social distancing measures to be applied during the scrutineering process are expected to extend the counting process.

The official count will proceed as planned from 9am on Sunday, 29 March 2020 and results will be published to the ECQ website at www.ecq.qld.gov.au.

28 March 2020

DEMOCRACY'S VOICE IS HEARD

Around 750,000 voters have had their say today in the 2020 local government elections.

Their voices have been added to the more than 1.2 million electors who voted early and the 570,000 electors who received a postal vote.

Electoral Commissioner Mr Pat Vidgen said these early figures suggest at least 75 per cent turnout rate overall, although the final turnout will be determined after return of postal votes.

“This is approaching the turnout for the 2016 local government elections, which is an extraordinary result, given the circumstances,” he said.

“Heading into polling day, early voting levels were already high, with 55 percent of eligible voters choosing to pre-poll, or apply for a postal or telephone vote.

“Our telephone voting line was extremely busy, with more than 175,000 people calling our 1300 number and over 45,000 electors registering for telephone voting.

“I want to assure voters who tried to vote, but did not get the opportunity to do so, that you will get a chance to tell us about your circumstances,” Mr Vidgen said.

Two state by-elections and 77 local government elections were being decided today.

“The vast majority of our community understands that government is important, now more than ever,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Preliminary counting is now underway, and results will be published on the ECQ website as they become available throughout the evening.

“The official count will begin tomorrow, and we look forward to the participation of scrutineers in that process, as usual.

“We have altered our counting practices to ensure that social distancing is preserved meaning the count will take a little longer than usual.

“There are also 570,000 postal votes to be included in the count, and these must be received by the ECQ by 5pm on Tuesday 7 April.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Queenslanders who voted in these extraordinary circumstances, as well as the thousands of staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver the elections,” Mr Vidgen said.

27 March 2020

TIME IT RIGHT TO HAVE YOUR SAY

Over 1,300 polling booths will open at 8am tomorrow morning for the 2020 local government elections, and the Bundamba and Currumbin by-elections.

“There are still 10 hours to cast your vote with booths closing at 6pm,” said Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen.

“More than one in three Queenslanders have cast their vote early, so compared to previous election days the booths will be quieter.   There will still be queues outside polling booths so people will need to be patient but once inside a booth voting will be quick and easy”.

“However, mornings are traditionally busier times at elections, and I am encouraging those who can vote in the afternoon to do so, to allow elderly and vulnerable electors to vote when the booths open at 8am,” he said.

Booths will have extra staff on hand to help voters maintain social distancing, and to move elderly and vulnerable voters through queues more quickly.

Mr Vidgen urged anyone who has already registered for a telephone vote to vote early and don’t leave it to the last minute.

The ECQ has produced a short animation about how early voting centres and polling places will be managed.

Key dates for the 2020 Queensland local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 9am – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote application close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

25 March 2020

TELEPHONE VOTING CALL CENTRE INUNDATED BY CALLERS

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has reminded electors that telephone voting is only available to certain people who are eligible for the service.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said that the telephone voting service is experiencing unprecedented demand, and that callers should not jeopardise the availability of this service for those who most need it.

“Electors who are physically impaired, require self-isolation or are in an aged care facility who can’t vote in person, are eligible to register for telephone voting.

“Our call centre is being inundated with calls and despite a major increase in capacity, many calls are from ineligible electors which means that legitimate requests are struggling to be met.

“I implore Queenslanders to check their eligibility before phoning our call centre, so phone lines are free for eligible telephone voters.

“Anyone who has already registered to vote by telephone but has not yet called back to cast their vote should also do this as soon as possible.”

Mr Vidgen said more than 1.3 million electors had already early voted or requested a postal vote.

“Most electors are able to vote in person and I want to assure them that precautions are being taken to ensure voting is exercised quickly and safely.

“There is still plenty of time to vote in person before election day with extended early voting times from 9am to 9pm today and tomorrow, and from 9am to 6pm on Friday.

“Election day voting is from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 28 March.

“I urge all electors to get to a polling booth and have their say about the formation of their local governments.”

Mr Vidgen said all the postal votes are with Australia Post and are being sent priority post, but if ballots don’t arrive in time voters can still vote in person. All election information is at ecq.qld.gov.au

Key dates for the 2020 Queensland local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 9am – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote application close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

23 March 2020

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS TO PROCEED

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has today assured voters that the local government elections will go ahead on March 28.

“The local government elections are going ahead with advice from the Chief Health Officer,” said Mr Pat Vidgen.

“Voting allows local government to form so that they can make decisions about providing essential services to the community – waste, transport, and community services.  People need their governments now more than ever.

More than 650 000 people have so far chosen to vote early with four days of prepolling still to go.

“At the moment, voting is quick,” he said. “The average time it takes once entering an early voting centre is under 3 minutes and even quicker if people bring their Voter Information Card.

“The ECQ has created more than 300 additional position at 100 early polling places across the state to help voters mover through booths smoothly, and maintain social distancing measures.

“We have written to the people who own the schools, community halls and other locations of our voting booths to strongly encourage them to reconsider and fundraising activity they may have had planned for the day.

“This, along with preventing candidates from handing election material directly to voters, will further limit the number of people gathering in or around a voting booth at any one time.”

Early voting centres will be open from 9am to 6pm tomorrow and Friday, and from 9am to 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday. Polling booths will be open on election day, Saturday 28 March, from 8am to 6pm.

For all 2020 local government election information go to www.ecq.qld.gov.au.

Key dates for the 2020 local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 7pm – Postal vote applications close
  • 16 March to 27 March – Early voting period
  • 28 March – Election day

For media queries, email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

21 March 2020

HISTORIC DAY OF SATURDAY EARLY VOTING

In a Queensland first, voters have had the opportunity to vote on two consecutive Saturdays in the 2020 local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamba by-elections.

As part of a suite of public safety measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) extended early voting hours across the state, including conducting polling on a Saturday.

Candidates and volunteers were also subject to new rules which prohibited the distribution of how-to-vote cards and other election material at polling booths.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, visited early voting centres today and said there was good compliance with the Direction about Display of How-to Vote Cards and Election Material issued on 20 March.

“In these unprecedented circumstances, it’s pleasing to see that voters, candidates and polling officials are all taking steps to comply with the hygiene practices and social distancing measures we all now need to abide by.

“The ECQ is putting public safety first in delivering these elections and providing extra opportunities for electors to vote is one way we can avoid having a large concentration of people visiting polling booths on election day.

“I encourage everyone who hasn’t done so already to get out and vote early this week, taking advantage of the extra opening hours”, Mr Vidgen said.

Early voting centres will be open from 9am to 6pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and from 9am to 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday. Polling booths will be open on election day, Saturday 28 March, from 8am to 6pm.

For all 2020 local government election information go to www.ecq.qld.gov.au.

Key dates for the 2020 local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 7pm – Postal vote applications close
  • 16 March to 27 March – Early voting period
  • 28 March – Election day

For media queries, email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

18 March 2020

NEW PROCESSES FOR ELECTIONS FOLLOWING PM'S ANNOUNCEMENT

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is initiating additional measures to manage the movement of people through polling places following the National Cabinet’s decision to ban non-essential static indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said that the ECQ had identified the polling places with higher expected numbers of voters.

“For these booths, we will put additional measures in place to make sure only 100 people are inside at any one time, and voters waiting outside have the space they need to practice social distancing.

“Voters should continue to observe the guidelines outlined by the Prime Minister regarding maintaining distances of 1.5 metres and applying appropriate hygiene practices.

“Staff will be on hand inside the polling booths to help move people through the voting process efficiently.”

Mr Vidgen said Voter Information Cards are also arriving in mailboxes all over the state and by bringing these to polling booths, the process of marking electors off the roll and issuing ballot papers is streamlined.

“We appreciate the cooperation of Queenslanders in these unprecedented circumstances,” he said.

“Elections are an essential service that ensure continuity of democratic representation. The high numbers of people who have already voted clearly show that the majority of Queenslanders are keen to have their say.

“Almost another 100,000 early votes have been cast today.  There has been overwhelming cooperation from the public during these challenging circumstances”, Mr Vidgen said.

In a first for Queensland, the ECQ is offering late-night voting at almost 130 early voting centres. Extended hours will start from tonight and tomorrow with early voting centres remaining open until 9pm.  For the first time, voting will be offered on Saturday, 21 March as well as on election day, Saturday, 28 March.

Mr Vidgen said postal vote applications are at an all-time high, topping 540,000 with applications still being processed and ballots posted out to voters.

“You don’t need to wait until election day to fill out your postal ballot. We are urging postal voters to complete and return their ballots sooner rather than later” he said.

The ECQ continues to seek the advice of health authorities to inform its arrangements for the local government elections.

For all 2020 local government elections information go to www.ecq.qld.gov.au

Key dates for the 2020 Queensland local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 9am – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote application close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

Media contact
0438 120 699
media@ecq.qld.gov.au

17 March 2020

EARLY VOTING SOARS, VOTING TIMES EXTENDED

Early voting numbers in the 2020 local government elections have reached unprecedented numbers with over 169,257 Queenslanders already casting their vote at the close of early voting today, Tuesday 17 March.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said the number is nearly four times that of the first two days of voting in the 2016 local government elections.

“Queensland electors have embraced early voting in record numbers with 73,900 casting their vote at yesterday’s pre-polling and over 95,000 voting today,” he said.

“The 2016 local government elections saw around 48,000 votes cast over the first two days, so the increase is more than an astonishing 121,000 voters.

“Although we were expecting a rise in early voting, this increase is much greater than predicted.

“Clearly electors are hearing our message about taking advantage of early voting to mitigate exposure to COVID-19.”

Mr Vidgen also announced an extension of voting hours in most early voting centres to cater for demand.

“Pre-polling is available at 128 early voting centres between 9am and 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday this week and next week, and on Saturday 21 March between 9am and 5pm.

“This is the first time ever that Queensland electors have had two Saturdays available for voting.

“I encourage electors to visit our website to find their closest early voting centre and hours of operation so they can have their say,” Mr Vidgen said.

Additionally, the ECQ has initiated special voting times for more vulnerable electors, such as people aged 60 and over between 9am and 11am daily.

The Commissioner said the ECQ has implemented other measures including additional cleaning in polling booths, encouraging electors to bring their own pen or pencil when they vote, providing hand sanitiser, encouraging candidates to distribute their how-to-vote flyers without handling them, asking all political stakeholders to limit supporters at polling booths and putting on extra ECQ staff to manage queueing safely.

Postal vote applications have also reached unprecedented levels with over 500,000 Queenslanders choosing this voting option.

For all 2020 local government elections information go to www.ecq.qld.gov.au

Key dates for the 2020 Queensland local government elections:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March at 9am – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote application close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

Media contact
0438 120 699
media@ecq.qld.gov.au

15 March 2020

Local government election update

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is implementing a range of extra measures for the 2020 local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamba by-elections to make sure that a safe environment is provided to Queenslanders voting in the elections.

The ECQ has been closely monitoring statements by the Prime Minister and the advice of health authorities in considering how to conduct polling in these elections.

“The local government elections are proceeding in accordance with advice that only non-essential mass gatherings should be cancelled”, said Queensland’s Electoral Commissioner, Mr Pat Vidgen.

“Elections facilitate an essential service by providing for democratic representation for Queenslanders.

“However, we recognise that this is an extraordinary situation and are adapting our service model accordingly. This includes additional hygiene precautions and people management measures to be implemented at the nearly 1500 early voting centres and polling booths across Queensland.

“I ask for the understanding and cooperation of all voters to make sure that the elections are conducted smoothly and with minimal impact on voters and election staff.

“This is a unique and evolving situation and we will update voters if circumstances change. I encourage people to check the ECQ website for up-to-date information about how to cast their vote”, Mr Vidgen said.

Applications for postal votes will close at 7pm on Monday, 16 March 2020, in accordance with the Local Government Electoral Act 2011. This deadline is established under the legislation for the election on 28 March and cannot be altered by the ECQ.

“Understandably, there has been a huge demand for postal votes this weekend.  Since Friday afternoon, we have received over 96,000 new applications for postal votes”, Mr Vidgen said.

The ECQ extended its operating hours over the weekend in order to respond to the anticipated level of demand.

Additionally, the ECQ will be implementing a range of new measures for people attending early voting centres and polling booths to vote in-person.

This includes sourcing additional supplies of hand sanitiser for use by voters at polling booths.  Due to high levels of demand, these supplies are expected to be available at early voting centres by mid-week.

Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil with them to vote as an additional hygiene precaution.

Other measures include:

  • Additional cleaning of polling booth areas will be undertaken to ensure that all surfaces are regularly disinfected.
  • Extra staff will be employed at polling booths to assist with queue control and monitoring numbers of people in attendance.
  • Vote issuing tables and screens will be positioned to maximise distance between all people in attendance.
  • New measures will be implemented to take votes of residents of aged care facilities which were to be ‘declared institutions’.

Early voting will start from Monday, 16 March 2020 and generally open from 9am to 5pm during the first week of early voting, and from 9am to 6pm during the second week of early voting.  The ECQ will be monitoring demand and is exploring options to extend voting hours.

Further information will be released and published on the ECQ website about extended opening hours during the early voting period.

It is important to remember that voting is compulsory. Electors should consider which voting options are most suitable for them at these elections.

Key election dates:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote applications close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

For media queries email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

13 March 2020

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS PROCEEDING

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has carefully considered today’s decisions by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) regarding actions to protect Australians from the impact of coronavirus.

A key outcome arising from the COAG meeting was advising against the conduct of organised non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people.

Having considered the public statements from First Ministers at COAG, and taking advice from Queensland’s health authorities and experts, the Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Mr Pat Vidgen, has determined that it is in the public interest to proceed with the local government elections and the State by-elections in Bundamba and Currumbin on 28 March 2020.

“The forthcoming Queensland elections are essential public events required to ensure the continuity of democratic representation and public administration across the State”, Mr Vidgen said. Mr Vidgen also noted that “It is extremely unlikely that more than 500 people would ever be in a polling booth at any one time, and electors generally only spend a short period of time in a booth.”

“The ECQ will continue to monitor advice being issued by health authorities to ensure that the elections are conducted with minimal risk to the health and safety of Queenslanders.”

A range of voting options are available for the 2020 elections including:

  • Postal voting – any elector can apply to receive a postal vote through the ECQ website or by calling 1300 881 665.  Under legislation, postal vote applications must close at 7pm on Monday, 16 March 2020.
  • Early voting – early voting will start from Monday, 16 March 2020 in all councils where in-person voting is required. The number of people attending early voting centres is traditionally lower than on election day, so voters may wish to cast their vote at a time when fewer people are expected to be present. Early voting times vary across councils, and details are available on the ECQ website.

It is important to remember that voting is compulsory and electors should consider which voting options are most suitable for them at these elections.

The ECQ will also take additional measures including:

  • Actively monitoring the numbers of electors in busy booths to limit the number of voters in attendance to fewer than 500 at any one time.
  • Providing current and updated Queensland Health advice to all voters and polling officials.  This includes recommended personal hygiene measures when visiting polling booths, maintaining 1.5 metre distance from people coughing or sneezing, and staying at home if sick.
  • Offering telephone voting to all electors in ‘declared institutions’ such as aged care facilities, rather than conducting in-person mobile polling.
  • Allowing electors to bring their own pens or pencils to polling booths to cast their vote.

The COAG communique detailing the outcomes of the COAG meeting are available at: https://www.coag.gov.au/meeting-outcomes/coag-meeting-communique-13-march-2020.

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/coronavirus/public-info-novel-coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-novel-coronavirus.

Key election dates:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote applications close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

For media queries email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

11 March 2020

COVID-19 AND QUEENSLAND'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

This month, more than three million Queenslanders will go to the polls to have their say in 77 local government elections and two by-elections.

The Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said that the Electoral Commission of Queensland is monitoring advice from the Queensland Chief Health Officer regarding the appropriate response to the emergence of COVID-19.

“The current advice provided by Queensland Health is that there is no need to cancel mass gatherings or events, or take additional precautions to normal practice,” Mr Vidgen said.

“We have provided advice to temporary election staff, and are asking that members of the public take normal common sense precautions, such as good hand and respiratory hygiene.

“This is, of course, a fast-moving situation, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely, and take advice from the relevant authorities, including Queensland Health. If that advice changes we are prepared to respond appropriately.

“At this stage we remain focused on making sure that all Queenslanders have the services they need to cast their vote in the local government elections.

“Voting remains compulsory.”

Key election dates:

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 28 February – Close of electoral roll
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 4 March – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March – Early voting commences
  • 16 March at 7pm postal vote applications close
  • 28 March 2020 – election day

For media queries email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/coronavirus/public-info-novel-coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-novel-coronavirus

February

22 February 2020

2020 QUEENSLAND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS ANNOUNCED

The 2020 Queensland local government elections have been announced and eligible Queenslanders must act now to ensure their voice is heard on election day, 28 March.

More than 3 million Queenslanders will go to the polls to have their say in 77 local government elections on 28 March.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said if you’re a Queensland based Australian citizen and not enrolled you won’t be able to have your say.

”All Queensland citizens aged 18 years and over on election day are required by law to enrol and vote in the local elections.” Mr Vidgen said.

“Check your enrolment today to ensure that you’re on the roll, and that your address and name are listed correctly.”

“You can check your details on the Australian Electoral Commission website at www.aec.gov.au.”

The best and quickest way to enrol or update your address or name details is online but if you are not able to go online, you can get a paper enrolment form at any Australia Post office.

Correctly completed applications must be returned to the AEC by 5pm on 28 February 2020.

For more information about the local elections and the ways you can vote, go to the ECQ website at ECQ.qld.gov.au.

Key dates for the 2020 Queensland Local Government elections

  • 22 February – Notice of Election
  • 22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
  • 28 February 2020 – Close of electoral roll
  • 4 March 2020 – Ballot paper draw
  • 16 March 2020 – Early voting commences
  • 28 March 2020 – Election day

For media queries email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699