The Electoral Commission of SA (ECSA) welcomed new regulations passed last week to allow telephone voting in South Australia in time for the 2022 Council Elections.
The telephone voting service will provide an additional voting option for South Australian electors living with low vision or blindness and electors who are interstate or overseas throughout the three-week 2022 Council Elections voting period.
Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Wayne Harlock, welcomed the move:
“The new regulations have been passed for the benefit and convenience of voters who may have barriers to overcome when completing a paper ballot, such as those living with low vision or blindness – or those out of state during the voting period.
“When developing recommendations for the new regulations, we engaged with the blind and low vision sector to develop the process and ensure ease of use. The process also protects the voter’s anonymity and security when voting.
“This is an additional option for eligible electors. However, they are not required to vote via telephone; they can still complete the printed ballot papers they receive in the mail from 17 October and return them in the reply-paid envelope.”
Telephone assisted voting process
Eligible voters can cast their votes from 10 am on 17 October until 5 pm on 10 November 2022.
Electors using telephone voting should familiarise themselves with the candidates running in their local council area and decide how they plan to cast their votes before calling the telephone voting centre.
Eligible electors will access the service by calling the ECSA call centre at 1300 655 232, where an electoral official will confirm their eligibility to vote via telephone.
Once eligibility is confirmed, the elector’s call is transferred to the telephone assisted voting centre, where a voting assistant will take them through the process of casting their vote.
To maintain anonymity, the voting assistant taking the elector’s vote is provided only a unique identifying number for the verified elector, thus ensuring the secrecy of their vote and will issue the appropriate voting materials as required.
A second electoral official will monitor all conversations with the voting assistant taking the elector’s vote to ensure the accurate recording of the elector’s instructions.
For further information, please head to ecsa.sa.gov.au or contact ECSA on 1300 655 232.