Ipswich City Council Division 2 candidates say they are frustrated with regulations put in place due to coronavirus.
Ipswich City Council Division 2 candidates say they are frustrated with regulations put in place due to coronavirus.

Candidates struggling to campaign with social distancing

SOME voters are heading into polling booths blind due to stringent regulations imposed on candidates in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

That is the view of candidate Sirle Adamson, who said the opinion is shared by the majority of those running in Division 2.

Candidates and their campaigners are prohibited from canvassing outside polling booths and handing our how-vote-cards or election material.

During an unprecedented election, voters won't be able to make an "informed decision" due to the regulations, she believed.

How-to-vote-cards can be displayed inside polling places but in "way deemed appropriate" by the booth supervisor.

Ms Adamson said, with the majority of Division 2 candidates running for the first time, it was proving difficult to get their message across to voters who have turned up to pre-poll.

Signs and how-to-vote cards display faces and names and nothing in the way of policy or vision.

 

How-to-vote cards at Springfield booth.
How-to-vote cards at Springfield booth.

 

Ms Adamson said not everyone was viewing information displayed online and on social media.

"At first they said we can leave flyers on the table or put them on holders and people can take them," she said.

"That's banned now as well.

"I know they're doing their best because rules are changing every day. It's devastating for all of us."

Ms Adamson said she had thousands of flyers sitting in boxes in her house that would never see the light of day, with elderly voters in particular asking for them to shape their opinion.

"They're asking us for them all the time," she said.

"The only other way is to talk to them on the phone or through text messages.

"But somebody has to pick up the phone and call you. There's not many people who will do it because they expect to get all the material there if they haven't made the choice already."

She understood every candidate was in the same boat but believed those who have been in council before would benefit from the situation.

"We have nothing to rely on," she said.

"We're all running a very positive campaign.

"We need voters to be a little bit more proactive trying to find out more about us.

"Voters are not really engaged because they're expecting us to be polling booths."