In-person early voting has commenced in the 2021 State Election, with 70 Early Voting Centres opening this morning across Western Australia.
Electoral Commissioner Robert Kennedy said the increased number of Early Voting Centres was part of a concerted effort to reduce numbers in polling places on Election Day, Saturday 13 March.
“The Electoral Commission is actively promoting early voting and postal voting as part of its COVID-19 risk management,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Anyone on the Western Australian electoral roll can attend any Early Voting Centre, regardless of what electorate they live in.
“Early Voting Centres use an electronic roll that covers the entire state, so electors will have their name marked off and they will be given the ballot papers for their enrolled district.”
Opening hours of Early Voting Centres will vary but most centres will be open between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays) and many will be open on the Saturday before polling day (6 March).
Locations of Early Voting Centres can be found on the WA Electoral Commission website at www.elections.wa.gov.au.
The WA Electoral Commission will use the SafeWA QR Code system at all Early Voting Centres. If electors are unable to use the SafeWA app, a manual contact register system will be in place.
Mr Kennedy said many electors were already opting for postal voting.
“Anyone concerned about voting in person can apply for a postal vote.
“The WA Electoral Commission has so far received a record 237,604 postal vote applications,” Mr Kennedy said.
“By way of comparison, at the 2017 State Election, 111,761 postal votes were received.
“This is a two-stage process: people can go to the WAEC website or contact the Commission’s Call Centre (13 63 06) to be posted out an application form.
“Once that application form has been received and processed ballot papers can then be sent out.”
Mail-outs of voting packages to electors are now under way. Completed postal packages must be posted back by 13 March 2021 in order to be included in the final count.
Everyone is eligible to vote early and there is no requirement for electors to provide a reason for voting early, either in person or by post.
There are 19 political parties and a total of 788 candidates contesting the 2021 State Election: 463 candidates in the Legislative Assembly, and a record 325 for the Legislative Council.
At the close of enrolment on Thursday 11 February there were 1,716,732 people eligible to vote.