ECQ Telephone Wait Times Frustrate Voters
The Electoral Commission of Queensland says more than 1 million electors have cast their vote ahead of the local government elections tomorrow and 570,000 people have received a postal vote. This means that nearly half of eligible voters have voted, or have made arrangements to vote, ahead of Saturday’s polling day.
However local residents report the telephone voting waiting time can be up to an hour and at times they unable to get through at all.
“It is impossible to vote by phone,” said a Canungra resident who did not wish to be named, “I registered days ago and cannot vote. It just says call back later, too many phone calls.”
“I have been trying every day at different times but no luck,” she said.
The Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young reassured Queenslanders that there is no risk going to vote on Saturday.
Dr Young said “We know, due to our fantastic pre-polling arrangements, and with the way Queenslanders have responded, and with the postal vote process, with all of that the number of Queenslanders left to vote by Saturday will be relatively small”.
Member for Scenic Rim, Jon Krause said it is up to the Queensland Premier and the Electoral Commission of Queensland to change course if they see fit to do so.
“I acknowledge there is serious concern in some parts of the community about going to vote at a polling booth,” said Jon, “I’ve also heard from people concerned they won’t be able to vote at all. These concerns are shared across Queensland. The LNP leadership has made a number of representations to the Government about the conduct of this election, and the ECQ’s handling of it. It certainly appears as though the level of demand for telephone voting was not anticipated by ECQ, and that is leading to considerable delays and inability to access the service.”
“We are all being asked to abide by the advice of Queensland’s and Australia’s health experts at this time. In Queensland, the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, has maintained that attending a polling centre is no worse than doing the shopping when the appropriate measures are taken, such as standing 1.5m away from people,” he said.
“It is a very difficult scenario where the ECQ is not able to keep up, the Government won’t act to change anything and people are concerned for their health when going to vote, and also about not being able to vote.”
“As your local representative I will keep ensuring these concerns are heard,” said Jon.