MORE than 1.3 million Queenslanders have already voted or will receive a postal vote, ahead of election day on Saturday. However, Redland residents are still asking if they need to vote on March 28 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Chief Health Officer has told residents that it is "perfectly safe" to vote this weekend despite strict social distancing measures introduced this week.
According to Electoral Commission Queensland statistics, approximately 750,000 voters have attended early voting centres, and a further 570,000 are receiving postal ballots.
The number of telephone voters is at record numbers, with over 11,000 votes to date. The ECQ has increased its capacity to accept telephone votes, extending telephone voting hours over the next three days to 8am to 9pm and doubling the number of people available to take votes.
The ECQ is urging people who have registered to vote as soon as possible.
Cr Wendy Boglary has asked fellow candidates to "respect the severity" of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people at voting stations on election day.
"I am receiving numerous emails asking for the election to be cancelled so I am suggesting candidates lead by example and simply allow the day to operate within all safety measures by the ECQ without volunteers also being at risk or the town decorated with extra electoral material," she said.
Redlands candidates signed an agreement last week which said no candidates or their volunteers would attend pre-polling booths to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Cr Boglary hoped candidates would stick to this agreement come Saturday.
"I have requested candidates restrict signage to one or two signs per booth and no volunteers at polling booths but to also not have surrounding streets choked with trailers, Utes, vehicles, banner waivers, people sign spinning or any other election promotion.
"Our community is anxious and confused. No one knows from day to day what their family's health or financial position will be. Most residents will just want to vote and return home in safety," she said.
- Telephone voting is available to people who are eligible under legislation, such as those not able to attend a polling place due to impairment or disability. People who have been advised by a medical practitioner to remain in isolation during the election period due to exposure to COVID-19 are also eligible to access telephone voting.