12 November 2007
Voters who are blind or have low vision are using electronic voting machines to cast a secret vote for the first time in 29 locations at the 2007 federal election.
The Electoral Commissioner, Ian Campbell, said electronic voting machines are available from today up to election day Saturday 24 November.
"I encourage voters who are blind or have low vision and who live in or near one of the 29 electorates to take up this opportunity to cast an electronic vote," he said.
"Voters with low vision from other electorates are also able to use the machines in these locations as they accept a vote for any electorate in Australia."
To cast an electronic vote, the voter listens to instructions through headphones and responds on a telephone style keypad. The vote, printed in code, is then placed in an envelope before being put in the ballot box.
The machines are only available to electors who are blind and have low vision such that they cannot vote without assistance.
"Voters are able to have a practise session with the machine before they record their actual vote in the 2007 election, and a polling official will be able to assist the voter to their seat and explain how the machine works," he said.
Voters who are blind or have low vision and are not able to attend a location with an electronic voting machine can cast an assisted vote at a polling place on election day, an early vote at an early voting centre, or vote by post.
For further information on electronic voting, including the 29 addresses where electronically assisted voting is available, visit the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au or call 13 23 26.
Editors note: addresses of the 29 locations with electronic voting machines are available online at http://www.aec.gov.au
Any media that would like footage of the voting at any of the locations are asked to contact:
Director Media and Communication Strategy
Ph. (02) 6271 4415
Mobile: 0413 452 539
Ph. (02) 6271 4419