Vision impaired voter Patricia Stillman gets some assistance from divisional returning officer Trevor Jordan before she uses the telephone to cast her vote.
Vision impaired voter Patricia Stillman gets some assistance from divisional returning officer Trevor Jordan before she uses the telephone to cast her vote. Max Fleet

Phone line helps blind cast vote

THERE was nothing that could stop the smile on Patricia Stillman’s face after she voted at the Australian Electoral Commission office in Bundaberg this week.

Mrs Stillman was one of the first in the region to try out telephone-assisted voting, which allows the vision impaired to cast their ballot in secrecy.

“In the past I have walked into the ballot box with a sighted person and they queried my vote,” she said.

To vote via telephone, a vision-impaired person will have their name marked off the roll before being taken into a private room.

A member at the office then calls a hotline, states the electorate and leaves the room while candidates are read out to the voter, who can indicate their choice.

Australian Electoral Commission division of Hinkler returning officer Trevor Jordan said at no stage were the people on the hotline told the name of the person voting.

Telephone assisted voting is available at the electoral commission office in Maryborough Street between 8am and 6pm today.



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