Member for Mount Gambier seeks polling booth changes as result of COVID restrictions With just six weeks until the State Election, community safety should be the top priority according to Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell. The Independent MP wants to see the March 19 poll held in a COVID-safe manner, calling on changes to be made to accommodate current restrictions. Continued page 2 COVID-safe election bid Member for Mount Gambier seeks polling booth changes as result of COVID restrictions From front page "The March 19 election is due to be one of the most unique election events in recent history, with the COVID-19 pandemic presenting a challenging landscape for voters and candidates alike," Mr Bell said. With the South Australian Electoral Commission (ECSA) due to announce voting processes in coming weeks, Mr Bell, who is running for his third term in the seat of Mount Gambier, said the election could be run in a "COVID-safe" way. To combat the current COVID situation, it has been revealed that the State Government is considering offering a drive through voting facility in Adelaide. However no mention was made of any similar plans for regional areas. Last week the ECSA said an announcement on COVID-safe polling was still weeks away. "This year is a vastly different landscape to elections past and the COVID pandemic is responsible for a lot of change to the way we live. The election process is no different," he said. "The safety of South Australians is paramount and traditional methods of campaigning have to adapt to reflect the current restrictions to protect the public. "To limit unnecessary contact, I'm sure many people would appreciate having 'How to Vote' cards for each candidate readily accessible in the polling booth." Mr Bell said this year's election would be unlike any other, as ECSA sought to manage voting for those who are COVID-positive or were in isolation due to close contact. "As the state continues to deal with the pandemic and businesses continue to be impacted by density restrictions, I think it's a public expectation the election process will also have to adapt to keep the community safe," he said. Mr Bell encouraged people to register to vote, saying the outcome had repercussions for all. "Over the last two years, the actions of our state government has played a major role in our lives, more so than any other time in history," he said. "Your vote is important and it has a collective impact, which leads to decisions that will affect us all over the next four years. "If you have not already done so, I encourage those who are eligible to register to ensure their vote counts and their voice is heard." Visit www.ecsa.sa. gov.au to register to vote.