Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller will be the first name on the ballot paper at the upcoming Eden-Monaro by-election after the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducted a randomised draw yesterday (10 June).
Labor candidate and Bega Valley Shire Councillor Kristy McBain will appear eighth on the ballot, while her main rival, the Liberals’ Dr Fiona Kotvojs, will appear last in 14th position.
Around 115,000 people are enrolled to vote in the by-election which is scheduled for 4 July, although pre-poll and early voting will start from Monday, 15 June.
The by-election will be held during school holidays this year, a break from normal practice, to give schools that double as polling places more time to thoroughly clean halls and grounds after voting on Saturday.
Other hygiene and social distancing measures will be put in place, and the AEC is encouraging voters to bring their own pencils or pens, although single-use pencils will be available at polling places.
Residents will have to line up outside and the number of people allowed in halls will be controlled and counted. Extra queue controllers will be on duty to monitor social distancing requirements, hand sanitiser will be provided and writing surfaces and voting screens will be frequently wiped down.
Sneeze shields will also be installed at all ballot-paper issuing points where possible.
The AEC says that although there is no legislation to stop political parties canvassing voters with how-to-vote cards beyond being required to remain six metres away from the polling place entrance, parties should ensure campaigners are following health guidelines.
“Parties and candidates will need to ensure that those campaigning on their behalf near a polling venue have fully informed themselves of NSW Government health restrictions and laws in place regarding social distancing, and that they abide by these directives,” the AEC says on its website.
A range of COVID-19 safety measures will be in place for the #EdenMonaro by-election on Saturday 4 July. Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers with an update on our planning 👇 https://t.co/Sq2vUvEs11 #auspol
— AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) May 25, 2020
The expected increase in pre-polling and postal votes, as well as social distancing requirements and hygiene measures during vote counting, will mean a likely delay in the official proclamation of the winner, the AEC says.
“The expected increase in postal and pre-poll votes cast will also impact the speed of the count, noting the legislative requirement to wait 13 days after election day for the return of postal votes,” it said.
“Whilst we are implementing measures to try and reduce this impact, the AEC thanks all electors and participants for their patience and adherence to the new measures in the polling place and at our count centre.”
For more information, visit the AEC.