Remote electors in the North West Central District are being urged to consider postal voting to ensure they have a voice in the by-election on 17 September 2022.
WA Electoral Commissioner, Robert Kennedy, said the sheer size of the electorate (over 820,000 square kilometres) and its sparse population meant not everyone could easily get to a polling place on the day.
“As WA’s largest electorate, North West Central presents the full range of logistical challenges in conducting a fair and accessible election, and as a result, we have a number of options available to ensure as many voters as possible can participate,” Commissioner Kennedy said.
“Postal voting is probably the best option for people living in the many small communities and rural properties spread throughout the electorate. We also have remote polling teams who’ll be visiting approximately a dozen remote Aboriginal communities in the fortnight prior to 17 September.”
Under amendments to the Electoral Act introduced in 2016, there are no longer any restrictions on who can apply for a postal vote, you just have to be an enrolled voter.
Applications for a postal vote can be made online, or for people without internet access, they can be requested by phoning the Commission on 13 63 06. Applications for postal votes close at 6 pm on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. Postal votes need to be received by the Commission by 9 am on Thursday, 22 September 2022 to be included in the count.
Voters can also vote in person ahead of election day. The Carnarvon Woolshed is an early voting centre during the by-election, and will be open from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays from Wednesday 31 August to Friday 16 September.
During those dates, in person early votes can also be cast at the WA Electoral Commission’s Perth office at Level 2, 111 St George’s Terrace, weekdays between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.
Telephone Assisted Voting is also available for eligible electors to cast a secret vote.
Under the Electoral Act, an eligible elector is defined as an elector who cannot vote without assistance because the elector has insufficient literacy skills or is sight impaired or otherwise incapacitated.
On polling day, there will be 15 polling places open between 8 am and 6pm:
- Carnarvon - Carnarvon Woolshed, 21 Robinson Street
- Coral Bay - Coral Bay Learning Centre, Banksia Drive
- Cue - Cue Primary School, Simpson Street
- Denham - Shark Bay School, 55 Francis Road
- East Carnarvon - Carnarvon Community College (Marmion Street Campus), 27 Marmion Street
- Exmouth - Exmouth Shire Hall, 22 Maidstone Crescent
- Kalbarri - Kalbarri District High School, Hackney Street
- Meekatharra - Meekatharra Shire Hall, Main Street
- Mount Magnet - Mount Magnet District High School, Laurie Street
- Onslow - Onslow Primary School, Simpson Street
- Pannawonica - Pannawonica Primary School, Sports Way
- Paraburdoo - Paraburdoo Primary School, De Grey Road
- Tom Price - Tom Price Recreation Centre, Milpera Street
- Wiluna - Wiluna Remote Community School, Scotia Street
- Yalgoo - Core Stadium Recreation Centre, Mitchell Street
“Electors need to start planning now about how and where they are going to cast their votes. And if they don’t think they’ll be able to get to one of those polling places, or vote early in Carnarvon or Perth, I encourage them to apply for a postal vote sooner rather than later,” Commissioner Kennedy said.
At the last State election in March 2021, just over 42 per cent of voters in the North West Central electorate cast their votes via postal or early voting.
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