Shoalhaven News

Pre polling for the 2022 federal election

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The first votes of the 2022 federal election have been cast with almost a dozen early voting centres opening across the electorates of Cunningham, Whitlam and Gilmore.

The Australian Electoral Commission would prefer residents vote on May 21 but early voting is available if circumstances prevent that.

Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said a number of COVID-19 safety measures will be in place at early voting centres and on election day.

"Australians have been living with COVID for more than two years now.

"For most people you're visiting the shops regularly, attending events or taking public transport – voting centres will havemore protections in place than most areas of society," he said.

Dedicated AEC hygiene officers will be regularly sanitising surfaces and pencils at all early voting centres.

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Social distancing will be in force with equipment spaced out, markers and other signage providing guidance and queue controlling staff offering support.

Rogers conceded that socially distanced queuing, venue capacity limits and required sanitising arrangements will undoubtedly slow down the voting process.

"Nobody likes to wait, and we work hard on minimising queues for Australian voters as much as possible.

"The fact is that when you run an in-person process to the scale of a federal election where people effectively choose when and where they attend, and then you add COVID safety on top, you simply cannot prevent all queues," he said.

AEC staff will be wearing masks and other personal protective equipment as required.

Whitlam: Early voting centres are located at the Albion Park Centenary Hall and the Warilla Senior Citizens Centre.

Cunningham: Early voting centres are located at the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre, Warrawong Plaza, Corrimal District Library and Community Centre at the Salvation Army in Wollongong.

Gilmore: Early voting centres are located at the Joyce Wheatley Community Centre in Kiama, Nowra Uniting Church, Worrigee Shopping Village, Huskisson Community Centre and the Ulladulla Civic Centre.

Image: AEC & Peter Andrea 

Tags: Gilmore, Australian Electoral Commission, 2022 Federal Election