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

In case you hadn’t heard, the Victorian state election is on Saturday. And in different information, when you missed this too, there may be one other wave of Covid making its means by the state.

Now, personally, on the primary information merchandise entrance, I don’t thoughts voting. I wish to have my say in who will lead the state I stay in and who could have quite a lot of duty in making selections that can influence me and my household for the following 4 years.

Plus, I can feed my two youngsters democracy sausages for lunch.

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

Someway, I’ve managed to keep away from it up till this level, however my husband and I’ve fallen sufferer to the spicy cough. And on high of that, casting our vote can also be going to be spicy, in all probability extra so than Covid.

Why? Nicely, as a result of except you had been super-organised and will go to an early voting centre or had been eligible for a postal vote (two issues which I’ve clearly didn’t do/was not eligible for) then there isn’t any simple method to forged your vote for the election.

As a result of not like the federal election earlier within the 12 months, there aren’t any voting telephone strains for Covid-positive folks, and up till yesterday, there was no various by any means.

Now although, we’ve very “generously” (because it was propositioned) been allotted one – sure, one – drive-through voting web site for the whole state.

“We all know that individuals need to vote however might not really feel comfy coming into a voting centre. We have to present a minimum of one possibility, even when it’s not a really handy one,” performing electoral commissioner Dana Fleming mentioned.

“In good conscience, we felt we needed to provide a minimum of one possibility for voters on this state of affairs. We’ve got an early voting centre situated at a former Bunnings web site in Melton West that we’ve become a drive-through centre.

“There merely wasn’t sufficient time to search out and lease another premises that had been massive sufficient to manage.”

Ah, sure not sufficient time – with an election identified about for months and a wave rising since October …

However this one drive-through voting centre – the one method to vote when you at the moment have Covid in the whole state – based mostly in Melton, on the outskirts of Melbourne, nicely, it could be fairly accessible to metropolitan residents, and even for me in my regional Victorian locality – I imply I’d solely need to drive simply over 100km to get there (simply what you need to do whereas having Covid). However for many who stay in different elements of the state, nicely you higher rise up early and put gasoline in your automotive (in a Covid-safe means after all) since you may very well be driving greater than six hours simply to get there.

After which after all, with hundreds of individuals testing optimistic every day, I can’t think about the road for this one voting centre, open solely Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday, 8am to 6pm, will likely be notably quick. So additionally, be ready to attend a number of extra hours, whereas sick, in your automotive too.

Oh, and don’t neglect your optimistic RAT check or textual content from the well being division to substantiate a optimistic PCR check too as a result of with out that you simply gained’t be permitted to vote on the drive-through. In accordance with the AEC, that is to discourage any voters who “similar to the concept of drive-through voting”.

Whereas it took me plenty of restraint to not snort at this final remark (as a result of what enjoyable that does sound), my remaining little bit of at the moment fairly minuscule power provide reworked into anger.

In my very own state of affairs, casting my vote for the state election would contain me and my husband to drive (whereas not likely absolutely alert) 100km both on Friday whereas my two youngsters are in school (and within the hope we get again in time to select them up), or Saturday with them within the automotive (and throwing out all of our social distancing) to take action. Neither possibility is good.

Or, after all, we don’t vote at this one polling centre we’re permitted to vote at and whereas we might now not get a nice (as a result of we registered our Covid an infection) we gained’t get to have our say on who varieties our state authorities, and that doesn’t sit nicely with me.

However for others, who do need to forged their vote, as is their democratic proper, who’re struggling Covid extra severely than my husband or I, those that are older, who can’t drive themselves to this web site and/or stay hours away from this web site, nicely I suppose, they simply don’t need to vote.

I imply isn’t this basically the message being given to us? Should you didn’t vote early (which not everybody can do) or register for a postal vote in time (once more, not everyone seems to be eligible) and also you contracted Covid (which nobody of their proper thoughts tries to purposefully do), nicely you don’t deserve your say.

Or alternatively, simply contravene all authorities tips, don’t register your Covid an infection and go to your native voting centre contaminated anyway – one thing I think many individuals will do.

However I suppose, a minimum of with this choice, we do get the chance to resolve, simply don’t count on that wave to decelerate anytime quickly.

Shona Hendley is a contract author.

Initially revealed as Victorians face ludicrous state of affairs with a purpose to forged their vote