A high-profile Victorian ‘teal’ independent is planning to take the Australian Electoral Commission to court after it was revealed some COVID positive Australians would be prevented from voting in Saturday’s election.
Monique Ryan, the candidate in Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong, announced on social media that she will be taking Special Minister of State Ben Morton to the Federal Court on Friday seeking to challenge the legality of a regulation the AEC said would stop possibly hundreds of thousands of people isolating with COVID-19 from being able to vote, The Guardian reported.
Ms Ryan launched a crowdfunding appeal for $60,000 on Thursday, to cover the costs of the challenge, and has since raised more than $73,000.
A spokesman for Ms Ryan said the legal challenge will technically be brought on behalf of an impacted voter.
Ms Ryan said depriving voters “is the result of a decision by the Morrison government” and action would be taken against Mr Morton who is responsible for electoral duties.
Feel like giving the politicians a rating this Federal election?
Our Pollie Rater lets you do just that.
“Ben Morton has passed flawed regulations that mean a significant number of Australians can’t vote in this election,” Ms Ryan said.
“Up to 200,000 Australians are now in an absurd situation. If they tested positive for COVID at 6.01 pm on Tuesday they can vote by phone. If they tested positive for COVID at 5.59pm, they cannot vote by phone,” she said.
Ms Ryan said “there’s a very clear solution here”, which is “the right to vote by phone should be extended to every Australian who is Covid-positive”.
Saturday’s election is set to be a tight contest with Mr Frydenberg for Ms Ryan who called on the AEC to find a way for affected people to vote.