Qld election could go full postal


LAW changes could be made that would pave the way for the state to hold a full postal vote when Queenslanders head to the ballot box on October 31.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has revealed the Government is working with the ECQ (Electoral Commission Queensland) to ensure "all options" are available so the state poll can go ahead safely, but said its preference would be a stand-up ballot.

Ms D'Ath said a full postal vote would not be allowed under current laws and that the Government was working with the ECQ over any "potential amendments" that may be necessary.

"I know the ECQ are talking to their suppliers right now about having sufficient postal ballots being able to be printed, but also talking with Australia Post about could they deliver a full postal if need be," she said.

"Certainly, the ECQ's preference at this time is to have a stand-up ballot and a ballot framework very similar to what we experienced during the local government election."

The Attorney-General said she expected decisions to be made around late next month on "which path to go down" for the election.

"What the Government is guaranteeing is that we will provide the resources and support that the Electoral Commission of Queensland needs to provide a safe election," Ms D'Ath said.

"It is everybody's right to vote and we want to make sure that everyone can exercise that right in a safe way.

"We've shown through the local government election we can do that."

The decision to hold a full postal vote would ultimately be made by the ECQ.

Ms D'Ath said it was "fair to say" that a stand-up ballot was a better option.

"It means that the results would be known sooner," she said.

"But also because of delays, especially with the size of our state and the delays in postage and getting it into regional areas and getting postal ballots back, that there is a chance people are disenfranchised by having a full postal ballot."

The Attorney-General said other countries had reached out to the ECQ to ask it how it managed the March council elections in a "safe way" during the pandemic.

About 1.8 million Queenslanders, or about half of eligible voters, cast their vote at pre-poll booths or made arrangements to do so over the phone or by post during the council election, reducing the number of people who turned out on polling day.

Among the measures introduced by the ECQ was banning the handing out of how-to-vote cards.

Voters were also encouraged to bring along their own pen when they cast their ballot.

Originally published as Qld election could go full postal