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Call for election day poll booth workers

A number of polling booths in regional areas will not be opening on election day unless more electoral workers come forward.

The Australian Electoral Commission is seeking polling place workers in the seats of Capricornia, Flynn, Kennedy and Leichhardt in Queensland, Barker and Grey in South Australia and Durack and O’Connor in WA.

Electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said the vast majority of the nation’s planned 7000 polling places will be in operation, but there is a gap in the workforce covering some regional seats.

“The list of affected areas will reduce as we get closer to Saturday and many local residents will have already accessed the alternative forms of voting available in the Australian system,” he said.

“Recruitment difficulty is exactly what we advised could occur, both earlier in the pandemic and in the early stages of the election period, and why we’ve been urging people to assess all voting options.”

The AEC has to date made a huge effort to recruit the 105,000 paid polling staff required for election day, including advertising, phone calls, emails and direct liaison.

“Short of handing out blank cheques for work, or accommodating thousands of single-day workers in interstate locations, there is not much more we could have done so far,” Mr Rogers said.

“We’re calling on other organisations to assist as a final push, and investigating all possible staffing models including amalgamating venues.

“We’re also continuing to engage with local residents in the hope they’ll put their hand up.”

Visit aec.gov.au/electionjobs to find a registration form.

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