Victoria election 2022: Voters with Covid should use Melton drive-through centre

In case you have not heard, the Victorian state election is on Saturday. And in different information, if you happen to missed that too, there’s one other wave of Covid making its method into the state.

Now, personally, on the entrance of reports first, I do not thoughts voting. I wish to have my say about who will lead the state I stay in and who may have a giant duty to make selections that may influence me and my household for the subsequent 4 years.

Additionally, I can feed my two kids democratic sausages for lunch.

However whereas we’re on the non-public aspect of issues, on information quantity two, I even have Covid.

In some way I managed to keep away from it up thus far, however my husband and I fell sufferer to the spicy cough. And what’s extra, casting our vote can even be spicy, most likely extra so than Covid.

How come? Properly, as a result of until you have been tremendous organized and will go to an early voting middle or be eligible for an absentee poll (two issues I clearly did not do/was ineligible for) then there isn’t any straightforward technique to solid your vote for elections.

As a result of not like the federal election earlier this 12 months, there are not any phone voting traces for individuals constructive for Covid and till yesterday there was no different.

Now, although, we have been very “generously” awarded (as has been proposed) one – sure, one – drive-through voting web site for your complete state.

“We all know individuals wish to vote however they might not really feel snug strolling right into a polling centre. We have to present at the least one choice, even when it isn’t very cost-effective,” Performing Electoral Commissioner Dana Fleming stated.

“In good conscience, we felt we needed to provide at the least one choice to voters on this scenario. We’ve an early voting middle positioned on a former Bunnings web site in Melton West which now we have transformed right into a drive-through centre.

“There merely wasn’t sufficient time to search out and hire different venues that have been large enough to make it.”

Ah sure, not sufficient time – with an election recognized for months and a tidal wave constructing since October…

However this drive-through voting middle – the one technique to vote if you happen to at present have statewide Covid – primarily based in Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne, effectively, it could possibly be moderately accessible to metropolitan residents, and for me too within the my regional victorian location – i imply i’d solely should drive slightly over 100km to get there (simply what you wish to do whilst you have Covid). However for individuals who stay in different components of the state, effectively, you higher stand up early and put fuel in your automobile (in a Covid-safe method, after all) since you could possibly be driving over six hours simply to get there.

After which after all, with hundreds of individuals testing constructive on daily basis, I can not think about the queue for this one-of-a-kind polling centre, which is just open Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday, 8am-6pm, it is going to be very brief. So, be ready to attend just a few extra hours, while you’re sick, even within the automobile.

Oh, and do not forget your constructive RAT check or message from the well being division to additionally verify a constructive PCR check as a result of with out that you simply will not be allowed to vote on the drive-through. In line with the AEC, that is to find out which voters “identical to the thought of ​​drive-through voting.”

Whereas it took quite a lot of restraint to not snicker at this final remark (as a result of it sounds humorous), my at present fairly minuscule residual vitality has turned to anger.

In my scenario, casting my vote for the state election would contain my husband and I driving (albeit not completely alert) 100km on a Friday whereas my two kids are at college (and within the hope that we return in time to gather get them up), or Saturday with them within the automobile (and throw away all our social distancing) to do it. Neither choice is good.

Or, after all, we do not vote on this polling place the place we’re allowed to vote and whereas we could by no means get a high quality once more (as a result of we have registered our Covid an infection) we cannot have the ability to have a say in who varieties our state authorities, and this doesn’t go well with me.

However for others who wish to solid their vote, as is their democratic proper, that suffer from Covid extra severely than me or my husband, those that are older, who can not drive themselves to this web site and/or stay hours away from this web site, effectively I suppose they simply do not need to upvote.

I imply, is not that basically the message we’re being given? For those who did not vote early (which not everybody can do) or register in time for a postal vote (once more, not everyone seems to be eligible) and contracted Covid (which nobody of their proper thoughts tries to do deliberately), effectively you do not deserve your phrase

Or, alternatively, you flout all authorities pointers, do not register your Covid an infection, and go to the native contaminated polling station anyway, which I think many individuals will do.

However I suppose, at the least with this resolution, we’ll have the chance to determine, however do not anticipate the surge to decelerate anytime quickly.

Shona Hendley is a contract author.

Initially posted as Victorians face a ridiculous scenario to solid their vote