QUITE THE ADVENTURE: Freestone woman Olwyn Bauch and friend Nancy de Prada during their trip to the UK.
QUITE THE ADVENTURE: Freestone woman Olwyn Bauch and friend Nancy de Prada during their trip to the UK. Bianca Hrovat

SDRC ELECTION: Voices lost to coronavirus crisis

NOT every vote will count during these local government elections, as self-isolated Southern Downs residents struggle to have their voices heard during the coronavirus crisis.

Would-be voters, such as Michelle Wright from Warwick, report upwards of 40 failed calls to the phone polling service at the Queensland Electoral Commission.

Each time, they are met with a frustrating message: There are too many calls, please phone back later.

"I just keep trying, and trying," said Freestone woman Olwyn Mauch.

"It's disappointing because we all have the right to have a vote but we just haven't been able to get through."

Mrs Mauch is self-isolating in Townsville with her friend Nancy de Prada, after the pair recently returned from a trip to the United Kingdom.

It was an arduous, week-long journey plagued by the frustration of last-minute flight cancellations and multiple stops.

But the frustration did not end upon stepping onto Australian soil.

For Mrs Mauch, who witnessed social distancing come into full-effect overseas, it was confusing to hear Prime Minister Scott Morrison tell Australians to stay home, and on the other hand, allow the local government elections go ahead.

"All of my family as well, none of them can get out to vote because they're self-isolating to protect vulnerable family members," Mrs Mauch said.

"But if not everyone gets to have their say, how is the election an honest, true and fair representation of the people?

"I think it should have been stopped."

Mrs Mauch said she emailed the electoral commission to request a voting extension or exemption, but has yet to hear back.

In the meantime, she says she's keeping her spirits high with her friend and has not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.



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