‘Democracy must go on’: Plans for a COVID-safe election

DESPITE COVID-19, democracy must go on.

That is what Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said after the Electoral Commission of Queensland released guidelines to keep people COVID-safe during October's State Election.

Mr Saunders, who will again contest the seat, said fears of a spike in cases ahead of the council election earlier in the year had proved unfounded.

He said there was no reason to believe the next election would be any different, as long as people maintained a physical distance and followed the same measures that had worked to flatten the curve in Queensland.

Some of the measures include expanded services to ensure voters have a range of options, opening applications for postal voting early and increasing postal ballot capacity.

People are being asked to plan their vote, stay 1.5m apart, use hand sanitiser and bring their own pen or pencil.

Mr Saunders said safety measures could always be improved and the State Government would be conscious of that ahead of the election.

He said the response to phone and postal voting had been overwhelming during the council election.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the Statement of Intent released by the ECQ centred on three factors, including health advice from the Chief Health Officer, successful guidelines implemented during the council elections and ensuring people were able to vote.