Record number of Queenslanders apply to go postal at election

Mail order has kept the Electoral Commission of Queensland busy in the first 10 days of applications.

Sep 25, 2020, updated Sep 25, 2020
Australia Post had the busiest pre-Christmas period ever.

Australia Post had the busiest pre-Christmas period ever.

By Thursday afternoon, the ECQ had received more than 316,000 postal vote applications with still over a fortnight left for Queenslanders to apply. That is building towards a Queensland election record, and comes after other jurisdictions also experienced a pandemic-led surge on long-term trends.

In the 2017 Queensland election, there were only 303,076 postal and unenrolled votes, up on the 2015 result of 244,442.

The first elections in Queensland since the pandemic began resulted in more than 570,000 postal votes being issued in total, for either council elections or two state by-elections in March. In the Bundamba by-election, 1200 postal votes were lodged, while in Currumbin there were almost 2,900 postal votes lodged.

Postal votes can only be sent when candidate nominations close, the ballot paper order draw is conducted, and ballot papers are printed, mid next month before the October 31 election.

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While Queensland University of Technology commentator and former Labor MP John Mickel has warned of postal votes not being counted if the mail is delayed beyond November 10, Australia Post has confidence in its deliveries.

“Australia Post has a long-standing commitment to support electoral commissions across Australia, including the Electoral Commission of Queensland, in the delivery of transparent, effective and impartial elections across all levels of government,” an Australia Post spokesman said.

“We know how important these upcoming elections are to Queenslanders, which is why we will make sure postal ballots are prioritised though our network and reach their destination by the required date.

“Postal ballots are identifiable as they move through our letters network which means our people and mail processing equipment can make sure the processing of these items is as efficient as possible.”

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