Media release

Mobile polling increase for residential health care communities

Updated: 11 May 2023

The Australian Electoral Commission will be conducting a broader, more consistent and better targeted range of mobile polling services to health care facilities for the upcoming referendum.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers has announced that, for the first time, mobile polling teams will be deployed to residential mental health facilities.

“We’re working hard to ensure our mobile services reach people who experience the biggest societal or circumstantial challenges to accessing other forms of voting,” Mr Rogers said.

“In addition to mental health facilities, mobile polling is also being offered to residential aged care facilities – something that wasn’t possible on a wide scale during the 2022 federal election due to the pandemic.”

Mobile polling teams deliver in-person voting services to residents at their health care facility – this service may be provided in a communal area or, where required for high needs residents, as a bed-to-bed service.  

If a health care facility does not accept, or is not eligible for, a mobile polling service, a dedicated AEC support team will contact them once the referendum has been called, providing information and resources on voting options.

“This is a concerted effort to decrease barriers that prevent residents of health care facilities from voting, by ensuring that resources are deployed to settings that need them the most.

“Australians are fortunate to have an electoral system not enjoyed by so many around the world – a system where the needs of different groups of Australian voters are factored in.”

Editor’s notes:

  • In line with arrangements during the 2022 federal election, staff and short-term patients at hospitals will be able to access early voting centres, voting day polling places and postal voting.
  • The final service provision for all voting services will of course be subject to environmental factors at the time of the referendum.
  • Further information about voting options that will be available during the 2023 referendum is available.

Media resources: