COVIDSafe voting plan

As at 22 January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a risk worldwide, so the 2021 State General Election will be conducted differently from previous elections conducted in Western Australia. 

The WA Electoral Commission is working closely with the WA Department of Health to manage the risks around COVID-19 at the 2021 election, but the constantly changing situation means the WA Electoral Commission cannot plan the lead-up to and the actual election with absolute certainty.  

Most importantly, the WA Electoral Commission is encouraging everyone who has concerns about attending a polling place on election day to vote prior to election day, either by postal vote or at an Early Voting Centre.

If you attend an Early Voting Centre or a Polling Place, you will notice changes from previous elections. A number of precautionary measures have been put in place to help protect electors and polling staff, including: 

  • the number of people allowed in a voting venue will comply with Department of Health guidelines, based on the size of the venue;
  • hand sanitiser will be available throughout all Early Voting Centres and Polling Places;
  • voting screens, common surfaces and touch points will be cleaned regularly; 
  • how-to-vote cards will not be used more than once; and
  • implementation of the SafeWA QR code system, as recommended by the Department of Health.

Electors are asked to:

  • use the SafeWA app to register their attendance at an Early Voting Centre or Polling Place on election day, or complete the manual contact register; 
  • stay at least 1.5m apart from others when queuing, being served, and marking ballot papers; and
  • bring their own pen or pencil – a big change from past elections. Single use pencils will be available if required.

Physical distancing rules and increased cleaning may mean voting will take a little longer than normal - so make sure you plan ahead.

The WA Electoral Commission is following the WA Department of Health public health messaging as follows:

  • practise physical distancing (keep at least 1.5 metres or two arms’ lengths from each other)
  • practise good personal hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your elbow)
  • stay home if unwell and if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms get tested for COVID-19
  • download the Safe WA app

If there is an incident of community transmission of COVID-19 in WA, the WA Electoral Commission will follow the instructions and requirements of the Department of Health to determine the most appropriate steps. 

For information on COVID-19, contact the helpline: 13 268 43
Interstate callers: 1800 595 206
International callers: +61 8 9118 3100

Please be aware that health advice in respect to any of the above may change.