Telephone voting available now for blind or low vision voters

Updated: 21 June 2016

With early voting now underway, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said voters who are blind or have low vision can now access a telephone voting service that enables them to cast a secret vote.

"Voters with low vision or who are blind can cast their vote by telephone from home, or from any location without the need to attend a polling place," Mr Rogers said.

"Blind or low vision voters can still vote with assistance at a polling place on election day or at an early voting centre, however the telephone voting service offers a further choice."

Eligible voters who are blind or have low vision must first register for the service by calling 1800 913 993. They will be asked questions to check their details on the electoral roll, and then asked to select a six-digit PIN number. Following the call, the AEC will confirm their registration details via email, SMS, a phone call or post.

"Eligible voters can call to register to use the blind or low vision telephone voting service anytime between now and 12pm (AEST) on election day, Saturday 2 July."

"To vote, registered voters call 1800 913 993 and use their registration number and their PIN to be marked off the electoral roll – they will not need to give their name," Mr Rogers said.

"While officers will record the voter's preferences on the ballot papers, the PIN and registration number system ensures the voter's identity remains secret."

"Registered voters can vote anytime between 8.30am and 5.30pm (AEST) from now through to Friday 1 July, and on election day, Saturday 2 July from 8am to 6pm (AEST)."

Editors’ notes

Accessibility of electoral information

Essential election information, including the AEC's 'Your official guide to the federal election' currently being delivered to all Australian households, is also available in a range of accessible formats, including large print, e-text and audio. Braille and other formats are available by calling 13 23 26.

People who are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment can use the National Relay Service (NRS) to call the AEC. TTY users phone 133 677 and ask for 13 23 26; Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) voice only users can phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 13 23 26.

Polling place accessibility

Polling places with disabled access are available across Australia.  Information identifying those that are fully accessible or accessible with assistance is available from the AEC website. Each polling place also has at least one wheelchair access voting screen.

Voters requiring assistance

Voters should approach AEC staff if they require assistance at a polling place.

"If someone needs help to vote at the polling place, trained AEC staff can assist or a family member or friend can be called on to assist," Mr Rogers said.

"If you make a mistake filling in your ballot paper, you should ask a polling official for a replacement ballot paper and start again."